DLF, Vodafone top MEC IPL brand study

MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League is a Big Bang event with a lot of bells and whistles. Cricket and all the fanfare associated with it during the matches take centre stage. The tournament attracted a host of brands, advertisers and sponsors in its third season. They splurged to get themselves heard above the cacophony associated with each match. Was their spend worth it? Did they cut through the clutter and get heard above the din?

Mediaedge: CIA, a Group M company, did a study post the IPL to test what worked and what did not, which brands stood out above the rest and how TV reviewers reacted to the cricket fiesta. The research was conducted between 28 April and 1 May amongst 900 people from 10 cities (including Nagpur and Ahmedabad) in the 15-55-age-group (male and female, TAM 15+, SEC ABC, All India, CS homes).

And the study has revealed that the IPL is doing very well, thank you, even better than earlier. The findings were that 2/3rd consumers watched more of IPL in Season 3. This was more pronounced among men, youth and SEC A /B. Meanwhile, woman juggled to fit in their regular shows despite the IPL. And overall, 87 per cent of Indians believe that IPL will become even more interesting as the seasons progress. The single most important factor for this is tougher competition between the teams.
What about brands? How did they fare?

Well as far as the sponsors are concerned, DLF and Vodafone got top of mind association with the tourney. While Vodafone scored over DLF in terms of total recall, other brands that gained significant recall compared to season 2 include Samsung, LG, Nokia and Pepsi. Among the new mobile handset makers who spent heavily during the IPL only MAX had some recall amongst viewers. Others such as Micromaxx and Karbonn failed to post any consumer recall.
An interesting development is that brands that had a judicious mix of on-team and on-air presence derived the best value.

Says MEC South Asia COO Shubha George, "We at MEC always expounded that activating the sponsorships right will provide the most efficient results. This has been proven right in research. The top two brands in terms of the most efficient recall to investment are Kingfisher and Nokia. Neither of these brands were the top on-air advertisers. In fact they ranked # 47 and # 40 in terms of number of spots on TV. But, because of their right mix of team associations, activations to go along with TV advertising, they have come out as winners." 
George further adds, "If I were Vodafone, I will start thinking hard about IPL 4 because theirs is a classic case of highest recall, but hitting a plateau. There is a clear need to relook on-air / on-ground / team mix for such high recall brands as Vodafone. Same will prove inefficient in Season 4."
Nokia also scored with its KKR association. Theirs was the most recalled team sponsorship, followed by Aircel and Chennai Super Kings.

Sachin Tendulkar and Mumbai Indians came out of IPL 3 as the most popular player and team. Mumbai Indians go into season 4 with the maximum people supporting them. Keiron Pollard‘s heavy hitting has made him the most popular foreign player of the tournament.
For the IPL itself, it will be important to ensure that expanding franchisees does not come at the expense of quality of players, team composition and competitiveness, the study infers.

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