The World Cup 2015 is about to the begin. This once-in-four-years event usually draws a lot of attraction from the audience and advertisers. We spoke to industry stakeholders to find out what is the fervour this time.
Though India is the defending champion in the World Cup 2015, recently the Indian team has been under a lot of pressure for a variety of reasons including its performance and controversies. The World Cup 2015, being organised in Australia, will be telecast during the day (by IST) and is right before the IPL. So, will the big ticket advertisers bet on the event considering these factors. We quizzed stakeholders to understand their perspectives.
Ritesh Ghosal, CMO - Lifestyle Business, Raymond
The ICC Cricket World Cup is a marquee property. We witness an intense wave of emotions during this period, as this sport is followed across the length and breadth of the country, religiously. Additionally, the World Cup offers a great platform for brands to communicate with their existing and prospective customers. The core audience for brand Raymond happens to be male, and there is virtually no comparable alternative. The timing of this tournament is perfect for us to launch our new product offerings, and we will be showcasing our premium Made-To-Measure proposition, new product offering from Raymond Ready to Wear and also a new product category for the summer during this tournament.
Arvind Vohra, country CEO and MD, Gionee India
From Gionee's perspective, we are doing everything digitally and nothing from the on-air perspective. We believe that at the time of its telecast, most people will be in office, so, while they might watch it on TV, but will surely check the scores on web portals. So, we are exploiting it digitally, fully knowing that people will not be watching it on TV. Also, World Cup is a case of national pride and it's not a carnival like IPL, so the TG, which believes national pride is important, will definitely look at it; and hence, advertisers will reach out to them. Any event, which is dated in time, will always have people waiting for it, now one can debate, how many are and how many not.
Bunty Sajdeh, founder and CEO, Cornerstone
Though there have been a lot of negative and questionable occurences in cricket in the last one year, there have been several positives too. But, at the end of the day, it's World Cup, which is the biggest platform for cricket. Indians are emotional and patriotic when it comes to cricket, and, for them, the game is beyond all controversies. So, the fan following has not dipped and it continues to grow. In this case, no advertiser can afford to skip the World Cup as a marketing platform.
As far as the timing of the telecast goes, it is perfectly fine because the event is in Australia and it will work according to their time zone. The benefit is that once people wake up in the morning, they will have an important update to take for something they passionately follow. A true cricket fan will wake up at any time for the game.
IPL is a domestic tournament, it's a T20 format; while it is a huge property in itself, one should not co-relate the two because World Cup represents the country and happens once in four years, while the IPL happens every year.
There may be a set of brands looking at IPL, but there are many who are looking World Cup as an important time for reaching out to their people.
PM Balakrishna, COO, Allied Media
World Cup is a global event and every cricket fan in India is waiting for it. There are extreme emotions attached to it and marketers understand that. We do not know how India will perform, and it's right that the mood is definitely dampened for a variety of reasons, but it has always been like that. Once the event begins, the mood will change and an India-Pakistan match will definitely change it. No brand would prefer to sit at the shore, but instead participate in it, in whatever way they like. Brands would like to bet on it to reach their TG, because its a once-in-four-years property, and they do not get such a platform every other day. Marketers have their eyes on it, and I do not see a reason why they will not bet on it.
Vidhu Sagar, executive vice president, Carat Media India
Betting on any event ahead of time is always a gamble. Most people betting on such events, do their research well before taking a call on it. Marketers would have definitely looked at the past performance, time of the telecast, IPL dates and other factors before they would have bet on it. There are two reasons one has to take into consideration, one is the time of the telecast of the event and other it being just before IPL. World Cup will be telecast during the day time, which will draw away a lot of viewers from television and probably they will be following it on the mobile screens, as most people, during most matches, will be on the move. Also, with IPL starting just after the World Cup, a lot of advertisers might be in a dillema. IPL draws a lot of advertisers and generates good numbers for them. The question then is - where to put the money. And whether it is one vs the other.
Niladri Datta , head, corporate marketing, LG India
Seeking a fruitful experience of the biggest sporting event for Indians in the start of the year, we see a lot of euphoria among the cricket fans in the cricket-crazy nation. There is a lot of action happening on-ground and off-ground. LG is associated with ICC since 1999 to promote cricket among its billions of passionate followers. For LG, to be associated with the game that is so close to the hearts of millions of people, is a good bet for the company. The World Cup is a huge euphoria internationally too, which helps the brand to create a positive image in the minds of people from different nationalities and countries. It is a great platform for LG to bet on, as it is going to be one of the most talked about sporting events of the year.