Mumbai : Advertisers and brands continue to bet big on the Indian Premier League (IPL) even as the twenty20 tournament draws more viewers despite controversies surrounding the league and talks of oversupply of cricket as IPL8 came immediately after the World Cup.
Advertising volumes in the ongoing eighth season of IPL8 are 6% higher than the last season with online retailers taking the lead, according to data released by TAM Media Research.
“All the brands have upped their spends this year which is what has led to a 100% sellout of our inventory, a first for us in the eight seasons,” said Rohit Gupta, president at Multi Screen Media (MSM), the official broadcaster of the tournament.
The top two advertisers remain the same as last year — Vodafone and Amazon, with 8% and 7% advertising volumes, respectively. Online marketplace Amazon increased its ad volumes by 75% as it has moved to become a presenting sponsor this year from being an associate sponsor last year.
The top three categories — Internet services of B2C and online shopping (28%), cellular phone services (10%) and smart phones (9%) — have together accounted for almost half of the ad volumes during the commercial breaks in IPL 8 so far, followed by two wheelers and aerated soft drinks. CVL Srinivas, South Asia CEO at GroupM, said IPL is a popular event, particularly among the e-commerce players.
“They (e-commerce firms) are at a phase when they need a high impact for their brand saliency and IPL gives them that in a short term of 6-8 weeks,” he said. “This is also the time that they are building their brands as their space is getting very competitive, which is why we are seeing a heightened activity in the media space.”
Srinivas added that GroupM’s This Year Next Year (TYNY) reports of both 2014 and 2015 had predicted that e-commerce would be the fastest growing, and the peaking spends show just that. Vodafone has remained a big advertiser during IPL in all the eight seasons.
“Over the past seven years, our experience has been that if you do things that are truly innovative and cutting edge during the IPL then the impact multiplier effect and bang for the buck is unmatchable,” said Ronita Mitra, senior vice-president for brand communication and insights at Vodafone India.
“The interest in the game and IPL continues to be high in the eighth year too so we are confident that this association will once again help us establish a strong connect with our customers,” Mitra said.
Television viewership too has increased 25% from the 2014 edition (in the first four weeks), according to TAM Media, which has also increased its sampling from 169 million last year to 172
The cumulative reach of the IPL has steadily risen from about 100 million in its first edition in 2008 to 160 million in IPL4 to 191.4 million last year. Last year’s rating rose 7% to 3.6 from 3.2 in 2013 despite a part of the tournament being played in the UAE due to the general election.
This year, MSM sold more than 95% of the tournament advertising inventory before it started and is expected to make between Rs 950 crore and Rs 1,000 crore from the event. It has signed up 12 sponsors with the largest category of sponsors being e-commerce.