The Cricket season is upon us with the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup on-air right now, followed by the Indian Premier League Season 4. While Cricket fans will be ecstatic about the back-to-back tournaments, marketers too are soaking in the fun. New campaigns surrounding Cricket are going on-air almost every day, and many more are slated to hit the screens by the time IPL begins. With so much enthusiasm riding on the sport, we asked five professionals from the industry to tell us how they believe the tournaments will fare against each other.
Everyone was of the opinion that IPL will deliver much better results than the World Cup. Santosh Padhi, co-founder and chief creative officer, Taproot India attributes it to the compact format of the T20 game. “The world is shrinking. That applies to people’s patience levels and their mode of entertainment. The IPL has added lot more entertainment to the format, which works,” he said.Shripad Kulkarni, chief executive officer, Allied Media believes that IPL will do better since the World Cup has limited number of India matches. He however feels that the television viewership for this World Cup will be quite significant.
K V Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett, points out that there is always a nationalistic pride in the World Cup. He said, “If India goes through the finals and wins the Cup, it will deliver everything. If India does not get into semis or quarters, it will not deliver great viewership. Unlike IPL, which has a universal viewership and is liked by women and children, the World Cup is not especially liked by them. They will watch if India is playing there, otherwise they will not. Moreover, today’s generation has very little time and they do not have the patience to follow an eight to 10 hour game.”Presenting a marketer’s view, Sanjay Tripathy, EVP and Head, Marketing and Direct Channels, HDFC Life, said, “In the ICC World Cup 2011, it is likely that India would reach the quarter finals. Moreover, the matches being held in India also hold the possibility of sustained viewership. But, if India crashes out in the quarter finals, the viewership may drop drastically. From that perspective, IPL is a better bet for me than the ICC World Cup. IPL also comes at a lower premium than the World Cup.”
Sharing a similar opinion, S Yesudas, managing director – Indian sub-continent, Vizeum Media Services, explained, “From an advertiser’s perspective, the World Cup is a risky proposition, unless the investment is done looking at all the pros and cons. Sustainability will hugely depend on India. The expectation is of the team getting into the finals. However if something goes wrong with India, the interest levels will crumble, considering the expectations of various kinds. If India makes it to the finals, it will be worthwhile for advertisers. It has a well packaged select schedule on DD that will deliver additional eyeballs.”
Shripad Kulkarni, chief executive officer, Allied Media
“Very clearly, IPL will do much better than the World Cup. Primarily because World Cup has limited number of India matches, while IPL inspires a very different frenzy. Plus what we have seen in the last season of IPL, this whole thing of city teams is catching up. So if there is a Bangalore team match, then the ratings are much higher from the city. Likewise, it happened for each city barring Mumbai, where people watched irrespective of which team is playing. So IPL has gone on to a different level, and it will continue to do well. ”
K V Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett India
“Apart from the shorter match times at IPL, they are going to give you more matches and you have got more loyal viewership as compared to the World Cup. This loyal viewership allows marketers to build their brands. Usually we say that it takes three to four weeks for a television campaign to really pick up as we need to catch people across various shows and time slots. On IPL, with its loyalty and viewership, if a brand is present across six to seven matches, you have already built the campaign. So, the time taken to build a television campaign is far less during the IPL than World Cup.”
CreativeSantosh Padhi, co-founder and chief creative officer, Taproot India
“ICC World Cup 2011 will deliver significant viewership, but only during 40% of the league matches as not too many people are interested in most of the league matches. I feel that towards the end, it will be a bit more exciting. Some of the matches where the top six teams are facing each other will get good viewership, as we Indians are used to lots of drama in everything and unless there is a fight between Gabbar and Amitabh there is no fun for the consumers.”
Media plannerS Yesudas, managing director – Indian sub-continent, Vizeum Media Services
“As far as IPL Season four goes, it may be directly impacted by what happens in the World Cup. Looking at the current form of Team India, unless something drastically goes wrong with the team, the impact in my opinion will only be a positive. Since the number of playing days is a bit of an overkill, you can expect a slightly u shaped curve in ratings – interest peaking at the beginning and end of the tournament and city specific triggers in the middle. But the numbers even at the belly, should be more than the Non-India World Cup matches. This helps de-risk the proposition.”
MarketerSanjay Tripathy, EVP and head, marketing and direct channels, HDFC Life
“We would need to understand that the format and the scale of both the tournaments are very different. From a marketer’s perspective, I would say that IPL gives us better value for money as it offers several advertising windows across the tenure of the tournament. The presence of Indian players in each of the teams along with the shorter duration of the matches usually contributes to sustained viewership throughout the tournament. As a marketer, I get multiple options to associate my brand with the tournament to reach my target audience.”