Unbeatable power of TV advertising on India’s largest marketing platform – the IPL

Metros continue to deliver high ratings, aspirational India shows 29% growth.

NEW DELHI: The countdown to arguably the world’s hottest cricket property – the Indian Premier League (IPL) – has begun. Come 11 April 2021, and cricket’s gladiators from different world class teams will descend into various stadia to do battle to hold aloft one of cricket’s most coveted prizes – the IPL trophy.

Despite the pandemic and foreign venues where it was held without spectators, the 2020 edition set some eye-popping records. Once again, television brought families and friends together in the age of multiple digital screens as they all sat down in their living rooms every evening, to watch their favourite sport.

Television ratings grew 17 per cent to 6.4 TVR from 5.4 in 2019.  Then, over 200 million viewers watched the opening match between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings, which recorded the highest ever opening in IPL history with a TVR of 10.4.

According to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data for 2+ All India (U+R), the league recorded 31.57 million average impressions per match. The overall television viewership was 23 per cent higher than its previous edition. What’s more: cumulatively the league’s live telecast recorded a reach of 405 million and generated more 400 billion viewing minutes.

The opportunity was leveraged by a myriad of brands to tap into a much larger audience than what’s available on any other platform. The record TV viewership showed once again, that if a brand’s target is to create large-scale awareness, then no other medium can compete with the wide reach of television. Especially when that power is coupled with live sports events which have an unprecedented captive audience. No wonder, TV brings immense value to advertisers. 

Apart from the reach and a deeply engaged audience what makes the IPL one of the most interesting and effective consumer outreach platforms?

Experts point to the extremely advertiser friendly ad pods that the sports property offers as one of the major attractions. For starters, every IPL 2019 match had anywhere between 12 and 30 per cent more secondage in a typical hour.

IPL 2020 had 4.7 TVCs per ad pod as compared to other genres which were around 4.3X higher than the IPL pods. Apart from the breaks, partners and advertisers got spots additionally throughout each match during key occasions like fall of wickets or boundaries or sixes. Therefore, with smaller ad pods during IPL, resulting in less clutter, it would be fair to conclude that even TVCs grabbed higher focused eyeballs compared to other genres.

What this meant for the brand manager was that there was higher top of mind consumer recall.

The 2021 edition is now upon us and the player auctions are on the anvil on 18 February with teams bidding to fill up the vacant slots and exhaust their player acquisition purses. Clearly, if the previous years’ jumps are indicators, IPL 2021 can only grow further. Especially considering the fact that spectators are returning to stadiums to watch the ongoing India England test series. And India and the Indian cricket team have been putting up stellar performances in the longer format of the game. Not just internationally but even domestically. India’s cricket aficionados are eagerly awaiting the swashbuckling T-20 fare.

“The sports calendar is action packed for the coming months and fans are eagerly waiting, especially after remaining under a prolonged lockdown. The enthusiasm has started building up already. With more people returning to their workplace and economy showing signs of revival, we hope it is onwards and upwards from here,” said a media planner.

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