Everything 'official' about sponsorship - cricket advertisers

MUMBAI: This is something which will make the ICC officials smile! Studies conducted by AC Nielsen as well as TAM India show that the official sponsors of the ICC cricket World Cup have managed to keep far ahead of their non-sponsor competitors. This is despite a large number of other brands fiercely competing for mindshare and airtime during the phase of high-decibel advertising and media activity.

Separately conducted studies conclude that the key differentiator between sponsor and non-sponsor advertising has also been the execution employed by the advertisers.

According to the findings from ACNielsen India Customised Research Services' syndicated survey 'Cup of Life', on the impact of media activity during the high profile event, brands Pepsi, LG and Hero Honda topped the table for unprompted recall of World Cup sponsors. Similarly, TAM ADEX analysis released on 2 April also puts Pepsi at the top of the table in all TV homes with a total of 3082 GRPs.

The ACNielsen survey was conducted in the eight metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. The survey used the door-to-door random sampling approach with survey activity conducted throughout the duration of the World Cup to eliminate any match related, timing bias.

According to the Nielsen study, while Pepsi and LG have been associated with official sponsorship at an unaided level of 70 per cent each, Hero Honda registered an association of 28 per cent amongst cricket enthusiasts. However, the TAM ADEX report adds that BSNL Celltone managed to dominate the terrestrial channel while Reliance Infocomm got more viewership on Sony and MAX. Hero Honda was placed somewhere in between Pepsi and Reliance Infocomm in the stakes with equal mileage on DD as well as MAX.

Comparing these trends with the soccer World Cup findings released by ACNielsen in 2002, it looks as if non-sponsor activity was definitely higher during the cricket World Cup as compared to the FIFA soccer World Cup. This, says ACNielsen, can be attributed both, to a greater involvement in cricket as a sport amongst Indians as well as a more conscious regulatory environment.

The ACNielsen study says that non-sponsors such as Samsung (19 per cent), Reliance Infocomm (15 per cent), Coca-Cola (12 per cent) and Britannia (10 per cent) which registered spontaneous recall in the early double digits did however manage to score better than other official sponsors like South African Airlines and regional sponsors Orange/Hutch. The TAM ADEX report also places Samsung, Reliance Infocomm and Coca Cola higher than the Orange/Hutch Cellular brand on its mapping returns chart.

An analysis of the executions recalled, point to the success of communication that was amusing, topical and featured Indian cricketers in memorable though not necessarily stereotypical circumstances.

Other interesting analyses that ranks the effectiveness of various non-TVC advertising and branding platforms used during the event indicate that ground hoardings and ground paintings followed by 'Action Replays' and 'Side Screens' have proved the most impactful in terms of recall through the event . 'In-stadia' branding has clearly displayed it's superiority over 'On-screen' branding platforms. Not only have they registered better recall but has also supported TVC based campaigns in protecting brands against any effort at ambush marketing by non-sponsor competitors.

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