IPL Advertising: Then and Now (IPL 2022)

The never ending charm of IPL advertising

IPL has emerged as one of the sought after sporting event for advertising in India. Some brands use it for branding and others for increase in sales. But whatever may be the objective, advertising in IPL has consistently been the top choice of advertisers.

And why not? Cricket isn’t just a sport in India but a festival that unites the country and engenders excitement amongst all. In a country like ours where cricket is no less than a religion, IPL has turned out to be a carnival for cricket lovers.

This year the IPL fever is back with a bang. With billions of viewing minutes being registered, every brand wants to encash the opportunity by having a share of the sponsorship and advertising pie.

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The IPL Advertising Pie

Since its inception, the tournament has only gained traction and increased its audience base. The league has now become a crucial event for viewers and advertisers alike, which is why it sees a massive advertising spend every year.

The tournament has provided brands a lucrative opportunity of reaching an engaged and massive set of audience, which is a gold mine for brands looking to target a national audience.

IPL keeps the audience glued to their TV sets throughout the tournament, and with its live online streaming on Disney+Hotstar the audience reach has widened even more. 

With increasing viewership, brands and marketers are actively putting their money in the series. IPL 2020 helped Star India the official broadcaster to earn almost Rs 2,600 Cr of ad revenue.

The broadcaster was able to cross the 2019 figure that was Rs 2000 Cr, despite the pandemic. In 2021, Star India bagged an ad revenue of Rs 2,950 

Source: Business Standard

Why advertise in IPL?

Top three reasons why brands should consider advertising in IPL are as follows:

  • Loyal Audience: IPL fans are loyal audience, they are die-hard cricket fans and most of the viewers watch the series to support their favourite team. A report by Ormax Media in 2020 estimated that the total fans across the 8 franchises is at 8.6 crores (86 Mn).
  • Mass Reach: The TV viewership of IPL 2021 on Star India (the official broadcaster) was 458 Mn and on Disney+Hotstar it was 300 Mn+. The viewership of IPL is constantly increasing, last year the reach of IPL was 51% higher than the combined reach of Indian Idol, Kapil Sharma Show, Big Boss, Super Dancer. 
  • Growing Popularity: IPL is the biggest domestic cricket tournament, therefore there’s no surprise that it has become the most popular and anticipated event. With every year the popularity of IPL gets bigger just as the series itself. Brands too leave no stones unturned to make the most out of it. 
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Change in IPL Advertising over the years

When IPL was started in 2008, it was mostly the big brands’ battleground. Advertising in the series meant that the ad would be shown on a nation wide scale, which hence, required brands to have a big budget. Also, the diversity in brand categories advertising in IPL today is much more than the initial days of IPL. One can easily see a stark change in the categories and also the type of ads that advertise in IPL now vs then.

Then, the ad spends on IPL included a lot of cellular operators and automobile brands. Back in 2008, brands like Vodafone, Nokia, Volkswagen, were the major players in the IPL ad market, and for a long time they maintained their top position. Some of the most iconic and memorable ads of those time are as follows:

Volkswagen

This memorable IPL edition TVC ‘What is score’ by Volkswagen gave a light-hearted approach to the brand. 

Nokia

The fun combination of our daily soaps and IPL was evident in the 2010 Nokia commercial starring Shah Rukh Khan and Urvashi Dholakia aka Komolika. Where we see Komolika as the coach of Kolkata Knight Riders giving them ‘sledging tips’. 

Vodafone

And who can ever forget the Vodafone advertisement character ZooZoo, this IPL edition ad shows little ZooZoos engaging in a cricket match. 

However, the proportion of above mentioned categories is slowly reducing and is being overshadowed by categories like e-commerce, online gaming, FMCG and BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance), which is witnessing a spike over the last 2 years. 

The media spend on digital media, OTT or Hostar during IPL was about 40%, which mostly came from automotive, E-commerce and FMCG. This proportion with a jump of 5% has been now accounted for by mobile handsets, e-commerce and fantasy games. 

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Currently, automotive is less than 10% and FMCG shares the same percentage. BFSI has drastically increased and is at 20%, all thanks to the growth in digital payments and of course, the popularity of PayTM and GPay. (Source: Business Today)

As per Nitin Bawankule the head of ad sales, Star & Disney India, ‘IPL is witnessing growing interest from advertisers and brands across various categories among which are e-commerce, edutech, fintech, fashion, healthcare, food and grocery delivery.’ (Source: Exchange4Media)

BFSI Winning the Game

The banking, financial services and insurance category is experiencing a boom over the past few years, this is due to the growing use of digital payments among the masses.

Especially, during the pandemic the use of PayTM, PhonePe and GPay has increased. In the last few seasons of IPL there has been a spike in the BFSI category, because of the growing space and levels of adoption have gone up in the pandemic period. 

Source: Hotstar

Women-centric Brands Creating Its Space

According to data by TAM AdEx, there was a 57% increase in ads for women-centric categories in IPL 13 in comparison to IPL 12. As per the data, the 6 advertisers in the women-centric category were HUL, Titan Company, ITC, BSH Home Appliances, Procter & Gamble Home Products & Reckitt Benckiser India. 

The only two women-centric products that were common in IPL 12 and 13 were washing liquid or powder and dishwasher. The ad volumes for dishwashers surged by 2 times and washing liquid and powder by 3.7 times in IPL 13 in comparison to IPL 12. 

The IPL viewership is believed to be majorly consisting of male audience, but in the last few years the demographics of the series has changed. Last year the female viewership during IPL reached up to 200 Mn, which was 27% more than the combined viewership of top 5 GEC channels. 

Source: Economic Times
Source: Hotstar
Source: Business World

The growing female viewership is also leading many FMCG brands to advertise their products in order to target the female consumers.

Source: Hotstar

Apart from these women-centric brands, IPL is now seeing a growth in FMCG brands and they have garnered reach and brand recognition too. 

Live Streaming on Disney+Hotstar

Live streaming of sports, especially the Indian Premier League on OTT platforms has brought a revolution in terms of advertising. Known for its mass connect, IPL matches have become the winning field for brands. During IPL 2020 the viewership on Hostar was 260 Mn and the number increased to 300 Mn in IPL 2021. 

IPL on Hotstar has given the opportunity to advertisers to reach younger and premium audiences. Advertising during the highlights is also a good chance for brands because highlights viewers during IPL 2021 reached 120 Mn, and 90% of the viewership was within 12 hours of the match ending. 

Source: Hotstar

Industry Sectors That Can Benefit From IPL 2022

  • E-commerce: As per TAM data the biggest spenders in IPL 14 were E-commerce brands, the top two industry sectors of the top 5 list were from the ‘E-commerce’ sector which had more than 15% share of ad volumes in IPL 14. The E-commerce sector is steadily growing and is expected to increase even more in the future. Due to the pandemic the consumption of e-commerce has increased among the masses, and in 2022 it is expected to grow 21.5%.
  • FMCG: Compared to IPL 2020, in 2021 there was a 2x increase in FMCG brands and this is estimated to grow even more. Recently, FMCG brands are inclining towards IPL ads, not only for the brand awareness and recall but also for the change in attitude towards the brand. Last year, HUL, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Nestle were among the biggest spenders. 
  • Ed-Tech: Ed-tech category brands like UpGrad, BYJU’s, Extramarks are seen actively advertising in IPL 2021. Ed-tech brands are adopting various ways to leverage their impact and create. According to the industry reports, Byju’s recorded almost 2.3 million new users and also a 19% growth in web + mobile traffic during IPL 2020.
  • Food delivery brands: Food delivery brands like Zomato and Swiggy enjoyed a high recall rate during matches. The frequency of ordering remained quite high, with approximately 80% respondents having food ordered online at least once during the IPL 2021 match time.

Tap into IPL Advertising 2022

As IPL 2022 is around the corner and fans are extremely excited, brands too are eyeing on the big game to drive business and engagement. We are sure brands and advertisers have already kept their budget aside and are anticipating good returns. IPL is considered as a great platform for brands to speak to a diverse and large set of audiences. 

The growing popularity of IPL also lies in the fact that it has always been pitched as a ‘tyohaar’ (festival) or a family entertainment property. So, we see that the Indian Premier League connects cricket with entertainment which results in attracting a wide range of audience. 

If you are looking for advertising in IPL, or have any queries mail us at Help@themediaant.com or 

Or check out the advertising rates for IPL 2022 advertising

For TV Advertising: https://www.themediaant.com/television/star-sports-1-advertising

For Hotstar Advertising: https://www.themediaant.com/digital/ipl-2022-on-hotstar-app-advertising

To know more about IPL rates and options you may read our other blogs:

IPL 2022 Advertising Budget Calculator (For Hotstar Video Ads)

IPL 2022: What’s New For The Advertisers

IPL 2022 Advertising: TV Advertising vs. Hotstar Advertising

IPL Advertising: All you wanted to know about IPL sponsorship and advertising

5 Reasons to opt for Video Advertising during IPL on Hotstar (Updated Feb 2022)

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