MUMBAI: Bang for the buck. That’s what brand and marketing managers look for whenever they put their money behind an event. And one such property that has been gaining marketers’ interest over the years is the Indian Premier League (IPL).
One of the largest marketing platforms in the country, the league has witnessed some stellar cricket and legends make their mark in the game. While this happened on the field, players also made a mark off the field. No. Not the cricketers, we’re talking about brands. With creativity and innovation, brands have made a mark and left a legacy year on year with some outstanding advertising. But there exists a myth. The general perception is that while the IPL is a great marketing platform, only brands with deep pockets can partner or associate with it. But we have seen brands like Byju's, PayTM, Vivo, Asian Paints, Dream 11 take pole advertising and sponsorship positions over the past few years both on-ground and broadcast. We also came across a few brands that have found creative ways to bring alive their brand’s proposition and partner with the IPL. One such brand is Too Yumm and its association with the IPL as the ‘Fall of Wickets’ partner on broadcast.
Too Yumm – an FMCG brand from the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group stable – came on board as a Features Partner ‘Fall of Wickets Partner’ on live television.
It was launched three years ago as a low-calorie option under group company GuiltFree Industries for those who love snacking but abstain from doing so for health reasons. Chairman Sanjiv Goenka at that time had said the group would be investing around Rs 10,000 crore over the next five-six years to get the brand to a Rs 6,500 crore turnover.
It made its debut in the highly competitive Rs 28,000 crore plus national snacking market where heavyweights such as Pepsico’s Lay’s and Kurkure, DFM Foods, Bikanervala, ITC’s Bingo, Pratap Snacks’ Yellow Diamond, Parle, Haldirams, and Balaji dominate. Adding to that is the plethora of small-scale branded and unbranded unorganised regional and local players that also find custom.
Too Yumm’s differentiated brand promise was - and is - that its snacks are baked and not fried and have 40 per cent less fat than the existing fried snacks brands.
For year one, GuiltFree spent on traditional media apart from expanding its distribution. But in year two it decided to diversify its budget and put some of it on IPL and its feature.
Too Yumm creatively married its brand proposition of ‘Fried Snacks Out, Too Yumm In’ in moments where there was a fall of a wicket in the match. The branding came alive during these moments on TV and was visually appealing as well. Every time a player got out, his lonely trudge back to the pavilion would be boxed in the horizontal and vertical L and Aston bands with Too Yumm branding and taglines “Fried snacks out, Too Yumm in” and “Fried Snacks Ko Karo Life se Out”. The brand also used innovative hashtags to capture these moments on social media. The more the wickets that fell, the greater the exposure the brand got. Additionally, Too Yumm also resorted to spot buys during the IPL to the extent its budget allowed.
“Too Yumm being a guilt-free snacking brand, it can be munched on while being engrossed in a nail-biting match and the fall of wicket feature, which is sticky, helped us to give a strong reminder about the brand to the viewers,” says Too Yumm chief marketing officer Anupam Bokey. “With the campaign #OneGoneNextOn, we wanted to create a brand proposition that snacking with Too Yumm is good. Generally, any match would give us an opportunity of at least 10-12 wickets falling and during which we tried to do moment marketing.”
The group had also signed on Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. Kohli – a fitness fanatic – had discontinued his association with PepsiCo - a year before signing up with Too Yumm - as he did not want to promote colas anymore.
“The Indian captain is somebody who walks the talk. So there’s a lot of credibility when he says something and consumers and fans are more likely to accept it,” says Bokey.
He adds, “The combination of celebrity sportsman as an endorser and association with the IPL uplifted the brand to get recognition. The objective of being associated with the IPL in the first year was to create brand awareness along with the launch of a new product Multigrain Chips. In the following edition, we supported the campaign #SayNoToFriedSnacks that was launched at Kumbh Mela a month earlier, where Too Yumm became the very first brand to get a Guinness Book of World Record at Kumbh.”
The launch of Multigrain Chips was done through a one-minute ad spot during the strategic time out in the match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab on 20 May 2018. It showed Kohli doing the unthinkable – munching on chips – but it was revealed that he was actually munching the healthy ‘Multigrain Chips’ of Too Yumm.
Bokey points out that the IPL generated very high engagement and active viewership in a very short period of time, as there were matches every day during the tournament between April and May. According to him, Too Yumm’s metro awareness has been growing – from 13 per cent pre-IPL 2018 to over 70 per cent with 2019 IPL.
The IPL association makes eminent sense for other reasons too: the brand fit.
The IPL is about super-fit cricketers and their teams battling it out on the green to gain supremacy in arguably the world’s most exciting sporting league. And Too Yumm is all about healthy safe snacks for all those who are fitness-minded and yet want to munch some baked items during the day. Since launch, its product range has expanded to cover quinoa puffs, veggie stix, foxnuts, multigrain chips, and Karare.
Bokey believes that no other platform gives as much reach as the IPL. “It gives a lot of leverage, especially with viewership numbers, generating a combined reach of over 800 million that includes Hotstar and other vernacular commentary channels,” he says.
He swears by the association, despite the fact that it comes at a stiff price tag. “Unlike other media, IPL is a very well measured and researched event, which gives the brand great confidence to invest in it,” he reveals. “The league helps the brand to get an accurate ROI, as well as higher recall compared to other genres.”
Of course the brand proposition, quality of idea and integration and the creative executions need to be exceptional to leverage the platform well.
He cites Hansa Research data, which shows that Too Yumm had the second-best ‘Recall Return on Investment (r-ROI) in the 2019 IPL.
No wonder the company parks around 15-20 per cent of its ad spend on sports, including the IPL. “Cricket - being a religion in India - creates appropriate traction for brands and we, being a smaller enterprise, have used it for the past two years and have been delighted with the relationship,” ends Bokey.