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How Mondelez India leveraged its partnership on broadcast for IPL 2020

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NEW DELHI: There are campaigns and there are campaigns. But there are certain advertising messages which strike home like no other – they either leave a tear in the eye or have you feeling nostalgic. Some have you chuckling, others inspire you, while yet others leave you just feeling good.

Consider Mondelez India’s #SayThankYou 2020 campaign during the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was held in the middle east from 19 September to 10 November 2020. The world had been starved of live T20 cricket until this premium cricket property arrived. Many tournaments had been cancelled and the ones that happened, lacked the zing due to the absence of spectators in the stadiums.

The biggest cricketing league, however, changed that and was greeted with record television and digital viewership on Star Sports cluster of channels. Months of lockdown had intensified the hunger for live cricket. Over two hundred million viewers watched the opening match between Mumbai and Chennai Super Kings. The overall TV viewership rose by twenty-five per cent compared to the previous season.

After months of going easy on spends during the lockdown, several brand custodians chose to open their wallets and spend again with the IPL.

Mondelez India, one of the associate sponsors of IPL wanted to acknowledge all those who often go unacknowledged with a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ for the value they add in our lives. With the theme of ‘Gratitude’ in place, the Star Sports team extended the concept to thanking the crew and staff that would be working in the background to ensure the show never stops. Given Cadbury Dairy Milk’s association with Mumbai Indians team, which was playing a crucial match on 28 September 2020 that became the day #ThankYouDay would be celebrated. The broadcaster is often seen working with brands and alongside their agencies towards solving their marketing challenges through innovative content solutions and unique ideas on air for the brands they work with.

#ThankYouDay saw a series of interventions planned by Star Sports for the brand on the network all day. Several content pieces were created exclusively for Cadbury Dairy Milk on #ThankYouDay and this helped the brand own the Star Sports network for an entire day and amplified the message of gratitude. These interventions culminated with a special gesture by Irfan Pathan where he was shown thanking a pantry staff member who always takes care of him throughout his hectic commentary stints at the studios.

“We were clear that the campaign will not just be about acknowledging the frontline workers, but everyone who works in the background to make the great show happen. So, during IPL when Star Sports said that it would not have been possible for them to pull off the IPL without the support of its staff who stepped out of their homes and made it a success, it struck a chord. So, that was the core idea. Acknowledge the unacknowledged. And, it resonated,” said Wavemaker India chief client officer Shekhar Banerjee.

The Star Sports on-air promo team also created a short film wherein it thanked the crew from engineers, editors, directors, producers, security to the house keeping staff who had toiled hard to make the IPL broadcast possible on Star Sports. The promo got widespread playout on the channels and across social media with the Cadbury Dairy milk tag urging viewers to look forward to #ThankYouDay.

Taking the campaign ahead, Cadbury Dairy Milk also announced that it would double the total runs scored in all Mumbai Indians matches to provide health insurance for daily wage earners through its NGO partner Nirmana.

“In times when everybody was confined within some kind of boundaries, it’s an opportunity well used for a national brand like Cadbury to spread the message of gratitude across households in India. It further strengthens the brand’s connection to the country. Also, the part of proceeds of this ‘Thank you’ bar sales going towards health insurance policies of daily wage earners, is a step that’s much needed from letting this campaign be a superficial declaration. It steps into action, which most brands these days should start taking,” said Dentsu Impact, senior creative director and assistant vice-president Ankur Garg, “it not only builds the credibility of the brand but also gives customers an added reason to make the purchase. So, keeping the assumed objectives in mind, it’s a successful campaign.”

In fact, Mondelez India was not the only brand to work closely with Star Sports to come up with innovative brand solutions to solve their business challenges. As many as five brands including Amazon India also chose to partner with the broadcaster to create stories that go beyond the everyday.

(The story is published as part of the year-ender series on the popular ad campaigns that stood out in the year 2020.)

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