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CONTENTS SURVEY How has your interest in IPL changed since Season - 1? 6 How will your IPL - 5 viewing be compared to IPL - 4? 6 Which team will you support in this Season? 7 Home ground loyalties play a role 7 Factors deciding viewing of IPL on TV 8 Which team do you think will win IPL this year? 8 Are you familiar with the new team compositions? 9 Watched bidding of players? 9

IPL SEASON - 5 Is the charm intact?

2

MILESTONES Marketers’ playfield

3

METHODOLOGY

Indian player who will contribute the most to his team? 9 League matches TVR 10

5

Strategic factor modeling Technical perspective

Estimated ratings by teams

10

Other than TV, where else did you watch IPL - 4?

11

Reasons for watching IPL online

11

Are you a fan of any of IPL team’s brand pages on Facebook? 12 IPL franchisees building fan clubs on social networks

12

Can you think of brands associated with IPL as sponsors?

13

Where are you most likely to watch IPL?

13

Summary

13

INTERVIEWS Shubha George, Chief Operating Officer, South Asia, MEC T Gangadhar, Managing Director, MEC, India 16

14

CMO PERSPECTIVE Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet Limited 18

Anuradha Aggarwal, Vice President, Brand Communication and Insights, Vodafone India 18 Shashank Srivastava, CMO, Maruti Suzuki India 19 Lutz Kothe, Head, Marketing and Public Relations, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales Sanjay Behl, Group Head, Brand and Marketing, Reliance Communications 20

19

1


IPL TV Rating Prediction Study

IPL Season - 5 Is the charm intact? After four successful seasons does IPL still hold the charm? MEC, as over the last few years, tries to find out some answers

a close call MEC’s predictions over the years have mostly been to the dot 5.6 5.2

5.2

5.1 4.7

5.0

39 D ay s

e ch

56 M at

3.7

s

45 D

s

he

s

s

s

2008

2009

2010

Among AA, 15+, SEC ABC, C&S homes. Estimates are for League matches only.

2

s

ay

70 M at c

e ch

59 M at

ay

37 D

e ch

59 M at

ys

46 D a

2011


MILESTONES

Marketers’ playfield IPL - 5 promises to be bigger and better. But will India’s poor performance lately in international tournaments affect the audience response. We will know soon. Before that let’s see what have been the biggest marketing IPL Milestones over the years: 2007

April •

The Indian Premiere League established by BCCI 2008: IPL SEASON 1

IPL Season 1 kicks off creating the best marketing cocktail with two key ingredients that Indians are most passionate about: cricket and movies.

January

June

The first ever franchise auction fetched $US$723.59 million. Each franchise was auctioned for: Mumbai Indians for $111.9 million, Bangalore Royal Challengers for $111.6 million, Hyderabad Deccan Chargers for $107 million, Chennai Super Kings for $91 million, Delhi DareDevils for $84 million, Kings XI Punjab for $76 million, Kolkata Knight Riders for $75.09 million and Rajasthan Royals for $67 million. A consortium consisting of India’s Sony Entertainment Television network and Singapore-based World Sport Group secured the global broadcasting rights of the Indian Premier League. The record deal has a duration of ten years at a cost of US$1.026 billion. The deal was revised in the second season because of a controversy.

February

DLF bags the title sponsorship rights for IPL for five years at a cost of Rs 40 crore per annum, making the deal worth Rs 200 crore. And Hero Honda bagged the co-sponsor deal for five years for Rs 90 lakh.

TV as a presenting sponsor for DTH broadcast. Big TV, which paid Rs 137 core as the ground sponsor for IPL, protested the Sony-Bharti deal and called off its own deal with the broadcaster. The controversy aggravated so much that Multi Screen Media, CEO Kunal Dasgupta resigned and later Sony had to revise its $1.026 billion deal to $1.6 billion in order to keep the broadcast rights.

During season 1, IPL reached out to 10.24 crore viewers. BCCI emerged as the most successful marketer with a profit of Rs 350 crore from IPL 1 alone while in 2007 its overall profits were Rs 235 crore.

April •

Another round of controversies were brewing surrounding elections and securities, and thus at the last moment IPL commissioner Lalit Modi decides to take the league to South Africa.

Fake IPL Player blog started the same day the IPL 2 tournament. Then written anonymously, the blog became a rage within a few days. According to digital agency Pinstorm, the fake IPL player blog had at its peak, on 26

Kolkata KnightRiders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) were the only franchise to make profits. KKR made a profit of Rs 8 crore and RR of Rs 5 crore. •

The first season of the great Indian marketing cocktail has been estimated to add Rs 300 crore to the TV advertising pie in 2008. Overall, 482 hours of advertising (in stadia, n screen and commercial breaks) was there in IPL 1. Aircel, a well known telecom brand first started advertising at IPL Season 1. It sponsored Chennai SuperKings. The IPL eyeballs made the brand a household name. 2009: IPL SEASON 2

February •

IPL season 2 began with controversy. SET MAX, the official broadcaster signed on-air deal with Airtel Digital

3


MILESTONES

April with 1.5 crore visitors which is quite good considering that celebrity blogs like Amir Khan was at its peak garnering 1.7 crore visits. The blogger remained anonymous for this season. This was also the season where once again marketing won over the game and thus strategy breaks were introduced after 10 overs of game in each inning to incorporate more advertisers who were keen to get associated with the event.

One of the most popular mascot and campaign launched in IPL Season 2 that became a huge success in taking the brand further was the Vodafone ZooZoos campaign.

loosely based on the contents of his blogs. The book marketed as a work of fiction and written anonymously. The June 7, 2010 issue of India Today put The Gamechangers at ninth position in the list of Top 10 national bestsellers. Vodafone’s ZooZoo which became a rage in IPL 2 returned for a new innings in IPL 3. The game crossed another milestone when leading tyre brand MRF paid Rs 15 crore to become blimp sponsor of the tournament. It was the first time in India that a blimp was deployed in a sports event. The brand value of IPL reaches $4.13 billion, according to Brand Finance Report.

April •

June

There are about 70 sponsors on board for IPL Season 4 which is a good number considering that many marketers spent a huge chunk on the World Cup that was won by India

April •

IPL 3 saw the daddy of controversies with IPL Chief Lalit Modi’s suspension.

June

. •

Despite the controversies, IPL 3 has been estimated to add Rs 700 crore to the TV advertising pie in 2010. In absolute viewer terms, IPL Season 3, viewership reach was 14.37 crore.

June Season 2, reached out to about 12.27 crore TV Viewers.

IPL Season 2 has been estimated to add Rs 500 crore to the TV advertising pie in 2009. Overall, 625 hours of advertising (in stadia, screen and commercial breaks) were there in IPL 2. 2010: IPL SEASON 3

March •

4

The Fake IPL Player released a book - ‘The Gamechangers’ which was

The IPL Season 3 controversies about transparency and match fixing in the league and suspension of IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, led to a fall in brand IPL and its value stood at $3.67 billion (Source: Brand Finance Report). Top 3 franchise with highest brand values were Mumbai Indians with a brand value of $57.13 million, followed by Chennai Super Kings with $55.37 million and Royal Challengers Bangalore, with a brand value of of $47.58 million

Vodafone, Pepsi and Coca-Cola were the most recalled brands on IPL 4 as revealed by a study by Ormax Media. IPL Season4 added about Rs 1000 crore to the TV advertising pie in 2011.

August •

The Fake IPL Player identity was revealed. He was a marketing professional named Anupam Mukerji based in Bangalore.

2011: IPL SEASON 4 January •

IPL Players auction goes live on TV. For the first time a sports auction is shown live on TV. Marketers pay Rs 50,000 for a 10 second slot, which is five time more than the usual rate for a day time slot.

• •

For the first time IPL matches streamed live on Internet by Times Internet Limited (TIL), in partnership with YouTube, which resulted taking online viewership of sports to a record 72 million in India.


METHODOLOGY

Strategic factor modeling O Geetha Shiv National Director, MEC MediaLab

ur approach to IPL rating prediction is through a combination of Consumer research and Strategic factor modeling. The consumer research helps in assessing the ground realities – overall interest in IPL Season 5, likelihood to watch IPL on Television, team and player popularities. The research has been done across the 9 IPL cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh and Jaipur with a 100 sample per city (Total: 900) among Men & Women, 15 years+, SEC ABC, between February 24 and February 28, 2012. We find that there is only a marginal drop in interest in IPL compared to the earlier seasons, 16% of the respondents said that their interest in IPL is declining over the seasons compared to 10% in the earlier rounds of research. In line with this only 12% of the respondents said they will spend lesser

time watching IPL this season. While building the rating model, we have found that there are 3 important factors that affect the rating, namely the Team popularity, Time of the match (Prime time vs Non Prime time) and Day of the week (weekday vs weekend). From an almost equitable support across teams in IPL 2 & 3, the penchant has moved towards MI and CSK with a combined 45% support. RCB and KKR follow in support with 12% and 11% each. The most loyal fan bases are in Mumbai and Kolkata, irrespective of their teams’ performances. The gap between the Top team and the bottom team has hugely widened with the bottom team getting only 10% of the support of the top team in this season. These variations in team popularity are likely to skew ratings. Though Virat Kohli has seen a rise in popularity, Sachin and Dhoni remain the top players.

Technical perspective I Sunder Muthuraman Managing Partner, Meritus Analytics

nvestment decisions, especially situations requiring large investments, for an outcome in the future involve risks. The IPL is a very good example of this situation where the investment returns are measured in terms of the viewership that the each match will generate. This is where we have applied best in class statistical method known as GLM to predict the ratings each match will generate. The GLM is a general term that encompasses a wider variety of multi-variate regression methods. We have experience in forecasting category demand in over 18 countries and have some critical insights on forecasting to address the current problem. A good forecasting model should include quantify the known factors that will impact the outcome and limit the uncertainty on the forecast value. Our model achieves this goal We have used a two-step process to forecast the ratings for each match, using data from the past IPLs and major cricket events telecast on TV over the last 4 years. Step 1: Channel Share = F(Time of Day, Day of week, Popularity of the team) Step 2: PUT (People Using television) = F(Time of Day, Day of week, Popularity of the team)

The combination of the above has been used to estimate the TVR for every match An important point to note is that we have been able to include two types of factors in the model. The first being the data from past viewing behavior of IPL and cricket, and the second is the popularity score for each team that was generated through a large sample survey. An important insight from the model is that the popularity of the team has an exponential impact on channel share, whereas the impact on PUT is much lesser. In other words a popular team’s ability to pull a cross-section people already viewing of “ANY TV” at a given point in time is much higher when compared to a popular team’s ability to get more people to view television than those already tuning into IPL. The usage of such forecasting approaches are at a nascent stage in the media and marketing fraternity and we believe that more and more clients will adopt the analytical path the minimize risk on their investments and pave the way for better ROI

Meritus offers Marketing ROI and marketing dashboard services to clientele across the globe. He can be reached at sunder.muthuraman@meritusglobal.com

5


SURVEY How has your interest in IPL changed since season - 1? Indians love IPL and there is increasing interest over the seasons 16% 10%

Interest increasing over the seasons

56%

Same level of interest since IPL1

67%

23%

Interest declining over the seasons

IPL - 4 IPL - 5 Fatigue only slightly higher at 16% compared to 10% in 2011

28%

How will your IPL - 5 viewing be compared to IPL - 4? Viewership is expected to go up this season 12% 11%

65% Will spend similar time watching as last year Will spend more time this season than last year

60%

23%

Will spend lesser time this season than last year

IPL - 4 IPL - 5

29%

6

Almost 1/4th will spend more time watching IPL this season and 2/3rd will spend almost same time


Which team will you support in this season? MI and CSK have garnered support consistently for two years 25

24 24

23

IPL-2

IPL-3

IPL-4

IPL-5

21

20 17 15

15

18 16 13

12

14

11

10

10

15 15 13

12

11 11 8

6

5

9

11

10

5

9

9

8 5

6

5 5

5 2

0

Home ground loyalties play a role Home Support MI and KKR have built their home ground loyalties irrespective of performances. In other markets the home support increases with performance

Winning teams of the previous season have a positive going in effect in the Home turf RCB can look at using the current strength to build home turf loyalties The other franchisees need to look at ways to build their home ground support

Previous season Winner

Previous season Runner up

IPL-2 IPL-3 IPL-4 IPL-5

64

74

87

89

99

78

97

96

51

78

31

88

85

81

79

70

92

69

56

57

58

57

51

51

48 37

68

83

48

45

40

88

58

17 7


SURVEY Factors deciding viewing of IPL on TV While ‘Home Team Playing’ was the biggest factor deciding viewing of match in IPL- 4, this year, ‘Favourite Team Playing’ has emerged as the biggest factor

100 81

81

80 71

71

70 63

IPL-3

67

IPL-4

IPL-5

59

60

50 43

40

38 31

44 35

41

38

38 33

28 29

27

20

20

24

23 16

12

0 Favourite team playing

Home team playing

Indian stars playing

Time of the match

11

Foreign stars Top performing First play-off teams vs low playing vs second performing teams

Day of the match

Team Owner profile

Which team do you think will win IPL this year? 30 27

25

While last year’s runnerup, Mumbai Indians are the clear favourites this year, there are equally high expectations from Chennai Super Kings to repeat the feat

25

20 15 10 5 0

8

13 10 8

9

3

3

2


Are you familiar with the new team compositions?

Watched bidding for players?

People are less familiar with team compositions. Perhaps, because only 14% watched player bidding compared to 38% last year 40

60

55

38

35

50

IPL-4

IPL-5 30

40

39

37

25

31

20

30 24

14

15

20 14 10

10 4 0

0 Totally familiar

Somewhat familiar

Not familiar at all

Indian player who will contribute the most to his team? Sachin and Dhoni top players across all seasons. Kohli makes it to the top list this season

22%

44% 22%

10% 22%

IPL-2

35% 22%

26% 22%

10% 22%

IPL-3

42% 22%

16% 22%

7% 22%

1% 22%

1% 22%

8% 22%

3% 22%

2% 22%

6% 22%

2% 22%

2% 22%

4% 22%

5% 22%

3% 22%

1% 22%

10% 22%

4% 22%

2% 22%

34% 22%

26% 22%

10% 22%

IPL-4

IPL-5 9


SURVEY League matches TVR* 6

5.4

5

5.2 4.5

4

3.8

3.7

MEC estimates the league matches to average 3.8%, only 2.5% higher from the last season

3 2 1 0

IPL-1

IPL-2

IPL-3

IPL-4

IPL-5 Est

Source: TAM, MEC Research * Among Adults, 15yrs+, SEC ABC, CS homes

Estimated Ratings By Teams Team

IPL-1

IPL-2

IPL-3

IPL-4

IPL-5

Mumbai Indians

5.8

4.9

5.4

4.3

4.7

Chennai Super Kings

5.4

4.7

5.3

3.7

4.5

Kolkata Knight Riders

6.2

4.5

5.3

4.1

4.2

Delhi Daredevils

5.5

4.5

5.1

3.5

3.7

Sahara Pune Warriors 3.5 3.0 Bangalore Royal Challengers

4.8

4.4

4.9

3.7

3.6

Kings XI Punjab

5.0

4.5

5.5

3.6

3.4

Deccan Chargers

5.2

4.3

5.1

3.4

3.3

Rajasthan Royals

5.2

4.5

5.0

3.3

3.5

MI, CSK, KKR matches estimated to have higher viewership

Kochi Tuskers Kerala 3.6 TOTAL

10

5.4

4.5

5.2

3.7

3.8

Source: TAM, MEC Research


Other than tv, where else did you watch IPL - 4? 38% online reach of IPL: 1/3rd of Internet users claimed to have watched on Youtube and 8% on Indiatimes Among All

Among Net users

Youtube

12% 33%

Indiatimes

3%

Youtube or Indiatimes

14% 38%

Mobile

3%

Brands looking at associating with IPL on Youtube can expect similar reach this season too

8%

8%

Note: 39% respondents have accessed internet in the last 12 months, 36% in the last 1 month. 93% of internet users are members of social networking sites.

Reasons for watching IPL online Being out of home is not always the reason to watch IPL online; for 22% it was replacing television at home

50

45%

40

38%

%Reach

Mar-May ’11

Jan ’12

Youtube

47

53

Indiatimes

23

28

(comscore)

30 22% 20

Over time we may see eyeballs getting split between television and online, leading to drop in IPL TV ratings

10 0

Was out of home

Was at work

TV was being used by someone else at home

11


SURVEY Are you a fan of any of IPL team’s brand pages on facebook? Over 1/3rd of those who are on social networking sites are fans of IPL teams’ brand pages

No

Main activities on the fan pages

64 %

Yes

36%

Like (76%) Comment (37%) Upload pictures

(21%)

Participate in quiz/ contest (11%)

IPL franchisees building fan clubs on social networks Number of 25

20

Number of

fans in Lakh* 15

10

5

0

10

20

followers in ’000s 30

40

60 70

28.9

24.9

26.9

9.0

67.9

7.7 32.7

6.1 18.5

2.4 2.3

9.9

2.1 0.9 0.1 *Source: Facebook fan pages as on March 09, 2012

12

50

16.0 7.2 16.6

80


Can you think of brands associated with IPL as sponsors? Nokia, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are the only brands that have maintained ‘top of mind recall’ consistently. Is IPL getting cluttered with too many brands? IPL-2 58

60 50 40 30

48

45 44 38 30

48

47

IPL-4

IPL-5

60

58

55

IPL-3

50 46

42 36 38 32

38

35 30

32

28

26 22

20

38

37

27

24

23

22 18

12

10

28

21

19

11

25

16 11

10

10

0

Summary

Where are you most likely to watch IPL?

IPL hasn’t lost its charm

80 80

76

IPL-4

70

IPL-5

40

Though IPL is still predominantly family viewing, there is an increase in the desire for community viewing

Only 12% said that they wil spend lesser time watching IPL this season

On an average, 15% have watched any IPL match at the stadium

After the 29% drop in ratings in IPL4, the average league rating for IPL5 estimated to be at 3.8%, a small 2.5% increase from the last season 38% claimed to have watched IPL 4 online (33% on Youtube). But only 22% intend watching it online this season.

19 14

10 0

Favorite team and player popularity have been the key reasons to support a team

30 20

Only 16% fatigued (interest declining over seasons)

MI and CSK are clearly emerging out to be the favourites. Home ground loyalties are also highest for MI, KKR and CSK

60 50

5 At Home with family At home with friends

5

At a friend’s place

IPL franchisees are also building their fan bases on social networking sites. Nokia, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are the only brands to maintain the going in Recall.

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INTERVIEW

‘MEC’s estimations have become a benchmark’ MEC’s IPL viewership and interest estimations have helped the agency advise its clients on a wide area of marketing decisions in terms of planning campaigns in this period

Shubha George - Chief Operating Officer, South Asia, MEC, speaks on whether the recent India debacles in international cricket tournaments and the subsequent drop in ratings will affect the interest in IPL: The last few series of cricket tournaments have seen drop in ratings, on a broad note. Did that come in play while you were working on the MEC IPL 5 predictions? Yes, we did study the cricket rating trend as an input towards MEC’s IPL 5 estimations. Interestingly, we found that Indians seem to concur with Scarlett O’Hara that “Tomorrow is another day” - after the nadir of IndiaAustralia ODI where the ratings dipped to an all-time low of under 1, the Asia Cup numbers bounced right back to around 2.5% for the India – Srilanka/ Bangladesh matches. India-Pakistan is the 8 week topper across channels at a high of 7.7%. This corroborates the view that Indians live & watch in hope where cricket is concerned. Having been predicting IPL ratings for the last three years, what are some of the broad trends that you have been observing in IPL viewership? I think the tournament has matured and now has a loyal set of viewers which will mean more stable ratings. Sudden peaks and troughs are less

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likely. Team followings have also stabilized an unless there are some dramatic turnaround performances, the ratings of the more popular teams will remain higher than the tournament average even if their performance is not to the mark in this season. Indians follow stars and teams with established stars as well as those who throw up exciting talent will benefit in viewership. While last year you had predicted for a rating of 5 TVR on an average, IPL 4 had actually garnered only 3.7. What do you think was the reason for this kind of a gap considering your prediction in 2010 was actually spot on? Last year, with the euphoria of the World Cup win, consumers played back in research that they were enthusiastic for more cricket and to watch more of their champion stars. However, as the tournament unfolded, the fatigue did set in and IPL didn’t seem to matter much post the World Cup. Added to that was the extra matches with additional two teams which also pulled down the viewership more than estimated. It is also said that IPL is looking to increase viewership from smaller cities. While the survey is focussed on the main cities only, do you factor the contribution from other cities to overall ratings? Yes, in estimating the ratings, we study all markets where TAM reports viewership and the estimates include viewership from the upcountry markets as well. In context to the advertiser monies said to be invested in the IPL this year, do you think a rating of 3.8 TVR

IPL’s viewership among women has been consistent from Season 1. The ratings among women index to 80 vis-à-vis overall rating and is constant up to Season - 4 is good from an advertiser viewpoint? If we study the viewership data of the past 8 weeks, only 2 soaps have delivered a rating of over 3.8% at an All India level. Apart from these 2 serials, it has been Asia Cup and the Awards shows such as Screen, Filmfare, Zee Cine. So, delivering an average of 3.8 over 72 games in today’s fragmented TV market, is creditable. Ofcourse, IPL is a premium property and comes with that price tag and it is for marketers and agencies to evaluate whether the premium is necessary for their campaigns at this point. We should not run the risk of simply comparing IPL to its past, but also evaluate its performance vis-à-vis current TV environment. GECs seem to be launching quite a bit during the IPL. Do you expect IPL to hit Hindi GE genre? Which other genre is it likely to affect? Yes, GEC ratings do drop during IPL. This is a trend we have seen across all seasons of IPL. Drops are greater than average also for Infotainment, Lifestyle and News. The regional channels, kids channels and movies, both English and Hindi see drops that are lower than average. IPL has always managed to attract the female viewers as well. How has this trend evolved over the seasons? IPL’s viewership among women has been consistent from Season 1. The

GEC ratings do drop during IPL. Drops are greater than average for infotainment, lifestyle and news. The regional channels see drops that are lower than average

ratings among women index to 80 visà-vis overall rating. This has remained constant right up to season 4. So, when ratings have dropped through seasons, the drop has been uniform across men and women. It is not that women have lost interest and dropped off at a faster rate. How has IPL predictions helped MEC in terms of advising its clients? MEC’s IPL estimation has now become an industry benchmark on what to expect from the season. It has also helped us advise our clients on a wide area of marketing decisions in terms of planning campaigns in this period – ranging from various types of associations with IPL and its teams to how to craft campaigns for those staying out of IPL. We are the definitive go-to agency for a considered view on the IPL and clients see as very valuable. What are other such initiatives that can be expected from MEC? We have a few breakthrough initiatives planned, but in areas different from Sport and Television. We are planning a comparative study of how consumers consume Print vs Digital media and its implications for brands. The other one which will be very valuable to both marketers and media is consumer mood ahead of the festival season. At MEC, our mantra is Active Engagement and these thought leadership initiatives that we have consistently undertaken and will continue to invest in, helps us and our clients stay ahead of the curve in designing campaigns that benefit from these insights and truly engage brands with its consumers.

15


INTERVIEW

‘Community viewing is the soul of any spectator sport’ There is a massive multiplier in the viewing experience when we watch sports with friends and family, and this is a universal phenomenon T Gangadhar, Managing Director, MEC India, feels that as IPL is viewed with family and friends, the teams and the broadcasters are the most obvious beneficiaries: The study shows that IPL interest has increased over the years. Why do you think we had seen a dip in viewership last year? The most plausible reason seems to be that IPL happened too soon after a historic and emotionally-draining World Cup. After having invested so much into the World Cup, viewers might have wanted a bit of a break. The other reason could be around the new team compositions. Most teams looked quite different from the previous three years and this unfamiliarity could have impacted viewership as well. Having said that, IPL 4 still reached nearly 200 million viewers – up by 40% over the previous year.

IPL had 38 per cent online reach last year. What does it imply for advertisers? And for the television broadcaster? Well, to be accurate, 38% of the respondents claimed they had watched a part of IPL online last year. Quite simply, it means that the live streaming of the league is a great platform for advertisers. And since the Internet is a medium that is actively sought-out and consumed (unlike TV), it becomes and even more effective platform. I am a firm believer of being ahead of the curve and this is a great opportunity for advertisers to do that instead of taking a ‘let’s-wait-till-theInternet-reaches-a-critical-mass’ approach. Despite both showing the event live, I believe TV and the Internet can co-exist successfully. Each will play to their strength big screen HD experience and community viewing (for TV) and convenience, mobility and interactivity (for the Internet).   

What is your sense of the fact that there was significantly low interest in IPL bidding? I wouldn’t read too much into that. Interest in player bidding is directly proportional to the number of big names who are up for sale or transfer. We saw major interest in player bidding before IPL4 because practically every player was up for grabs and that generated enormous media and viewer interest.

The study says that eyeballs are getting split between TV and online, leading to drop in IPL TV ratings. How do you think advertisers will view this? From being predominantly single-TV households we are transitioning into becoming multiple-screen homes. While our study shows that 22% of the respondents watched IPL online at home last year, it does not spell doom for TV. Yes, as that number grows, it may impact TV ratings

One thing that surprised me personally is that despite being the title sponsor, DLF is ranked 7th on unaided association with IPL

but one must not forget a huge advantage TV currently enjoys – screen size and community viewing. The power of the latter is not to be underestimated. TV broadcasting has the power to create a sense of occasion. A case in point is the Super Bowl. Even in a mature market like the US, 113 million watched the February 2012 event on TV while 2.1 watched it online. As I mentioned earlier, both media can co-exist because of their inherent strengths. How can IPL benefit from this trend?  Quite simply by virtue of more people watching it at a cumulative level – TV and the Internet (even mobile) put together. Being a single-TV home will no longer be a barrier for watching 6 weeks of prime-time content.  Are franchisees using social media aptly? All teams have a social media presence with varying degrees of engagement. A lot of it seems to be around contests and disseminating information about the Indian cricket team. The aim is obvious – build and maintain fan loyalty through the year. In my view, this is a necessary but not sufficient condition. It’s best to build loyalty on the ground through local engagement (schools, community, local social cause, etc). The social media element can then be added give this engagement wings. One way  to do this would be by having an annual school-level version of IPL with junior versions of the 9 IPL teams competing against each other - will be a fantastic way to build loyalty for each of the teams.  Are advertisers viewing IPL as a platform

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that allows community viewing and customising their communication? Community viewing is the soul of any spectator sport. There is a massive multiplier in in the viewing experience when we watch sports with friends and family and this is a universal phenomenon. The Super Bowl example works beautifully here as well. Ironically, despite its huge appeal, the game itself becomes an excuse for friends and family to come together. As an advertising platform, the teams and the broadcaster are the most obvious beneficiaries - we have seen MAX take this route to promote the broadcast this year. It may also hold interest for advertisers who have brands positioned in the ‘social-glue’ space. Do you think organisers are bringing any science in their decision making while scheduling the games? Yes, we did. Before the schedule was changed, our estimation was an average rating of 3.9. Logistical challenges are usually the reason for making these changes but it will be worthwhile to take a more data-driven route to designing the schedule as well. Of course, there are no guarantees it will succeed. After all, we are trying to estimate viewer behaviour towards live sporting content - something that is fundamentally unpredictable.  Given that Sourav Ganguly is back as Captain of IPL Pune team, how will it impact the TVR of Pune matches? Sourav Ganguly’s elevation to captain does not seem to have favourably impacted the average rating of Pune Warriors’ games. On the contrary, the estimated average rating has dropped from 3.5 last year to 3. This is primarily due to the absence of Yuvraj Singh, their most popular player.  Are there any surprising viewership trends in MEC IPL 5 viewership predictions? We did not notice any surprising shift in trends in the viewership pattern. The one thing that surprised me personally is that despite being the title sponsor, DLF is ranked 7th on unaided association with IPL. Nokia, whose primary presence is via the KKR team and through spots on the broadcast, is the number 1 brand by a big margin. Clearly, the Shah Rukh Khan effect is not to be scoffed at.

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CMO PERSPECTIVE

‘Office-goers find value online’ Rishi Khiani | CEO, Times Internet Limited

This year, IPL is being broadcasted online on Indiatimes.com. Khiani shares the website’s plans: What are your expectations in terms of online viewership of IPL - 5? Season 4 saw significant traction amongst the urban, online Indian audiences across the globe. IPL on Indiatimes saw 76 million views last year, clocking a massive 79% growth compared to the year prior to our having won the rights. We had 18 million users spending on an average 30 minutes per session. We’re anticipating a growth of 20% this year. TV viewership of IPL - 4 was relatively low as compared to the earlier seasons. How do you see this impacting online viewership? We are seeing all signs of online viewership not being impacted by trends across other media. Our figures last year are evidence

enough that young audiences, particularly office-goers, have found value in the web & mobile products. We only expect this to be better this year. What kind of innovations can brands come up with online? When brands associate with super premium content like IPL on the web, part of the value is derived from sheer brand association and partly from customised brand integrations. As part of our sales strategy this year, we prempted this and offered clients multiple properties and advertising innovations for clients like virtual Cheerleaders, video timeline, pre-match show to name a few. Which sector of advertisers do you see coming on board for the online platform? FMCG, Automotive, Consumer electronics, Financial services are the sectors from where we have seen serious interest.

‘IPL - 5 will be the biggest ever’ Anuradha Aggarwal | Vice President, Brand Communication and Insights, Vodafone India

Vodafone has been one of the biggest advertisers during IPL, and has used ZooZoos effectively in the past. Aggarwal shares the company’s plans this year: The IPL rating on a broader note has shown a decline trend. Why do you think it still commands advertiser’s interest? IPL for us has delivered very well both in terms of efficiency of reach and effectiveness of on ground engagement with our customers. The testimony of our commitment has been that we have been on ground sponsor as well as presenting sponsor on TV for the last five years. Any big sport is also a great platform for guerrilla marketing. What is your take on guerrilla marketing in IPL? BCCI has taken stringent measures to safeguard the

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interests of the sponsors and have been quite successful in managing it. The IPL, with its communication this year, has once again taken the carnival theme and upped the entertainment quotient in a different way. What is your view on how this proposition will deliver for IPL? IPL from the onset was broader in engagement than just cricket as a sport. It was designed in a way to appeal to a wider spectrum of consumers. BCCI is doing its best to sustain the excitement surrounding the IPL. The organising committee based on past experiences is the best suited to decide what is needed to attract and deliver increased engagement to consumers and we are confident that IPL 5 will be one of the biggest ever sporting spectacles.


‘IPL is an effective platform for new entrants’ Shashank Srivastava | CMO, Maruti Suzuki India

Maruti Suzuki, one of the biggest automobile players in the country has stayed away from IPL in its initial years. But now the brand is associating itself with the platform though very selectively. Srivastava, CMO, Maruti Suzuki India shares his views about this marketing cocktail named IPL: Maruti Suzuki has not advertised on TV for IPL, but you are among the key sponsors with Indiatimes.com. What’s the strategy behind that? Digital platform is an important medium for us to engage our consumers and IPL on the digital platform is much reasonable in terms of costs and has strong deliverable. Unlike TV, on ground sponsorship, the clutter on IPL digital medium is much less while the reach is still very significant. At the same time it is very measurable and more engaging. Despite all the clutter, very high rates and declining ratings,

IPL still commands marketer’s interest. Why? IPL as a property has got huge reach and thus it is a very effective platform new entrants. It makes sense for such marketers to be on IPL as it gives huge reach in a very short span of time and that’s why these marketers are still interested in the property. However, for established brands with round the year advertising plans, it does not make sense because the economics on IPL are not cost effective. Any big sport is also a great platform for guerrilla marketing. What is your take on guerrilla marketing in IPL? Yes, guerrilla marketing around sports events has always been there and a lot of times have worked very well for the marketers. Take for instance the F1 tournament in 2011. While Airtel was the official sponsor of the event, Vodafone did some great guerrilla marketing and steal the show. Even on the routes to Greater Noida, Vodafone had some great hoardings.

‘IPL my pick over international cricket’ Lutz Kothe | Head, Marketing and Public Relations, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales

German auto-maker, Volkswagen India, has launched special IPL editions of its top selling models Vento and Polo. Kothe shares the company’s plan for this season: Are you considering investing in IPL - 5? Volkswagen is continuing its association with the game in this season as well. We plan an integrated 360-degree campaign, which includes all relevant stakeholders of the value chain. What kind of returns are you looking from IPL - 5? Last season, the IPL has proved to be a great platform to build and enhance our brand in the market. The best proof was also our successful action model Vento IPL edition. This year, we look forward to further build on this platform and make it even broader. Do you think IPL is an expensive property?

The only game that moves this country is cricket and IPL is a wonderful format which combines the passions of the game along with entertainment. This is definitely a property that justifies the brand’s presence. Do you think IPL is great platform for upcoming brands? It does not have to be a platform for upcoming products – it is a great platform for any brand provided there is a clear and well thought out strategy for it. What is your take on marketing at IPL vs International cricket property? Which one is your pick? Between the two, IPL is my pick. Since, it is a passionate and innovative game with representatives from every country. The passion for IPL is extremely high as there is a fast and direct connect of the audience with “their team”.

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CMO PERSPECTIVE

‘Digital activations will be interesting’ Sanjay Behl | Group Head – Brand and Marketing, Reliance Communications

Reliance Communications is the ‘Global Partner’ for all ICC events including ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty-20, ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, ICC Women’s World Cup, and the ICC Champions Trophy. But what are the company’s plans for IPL? Behl discloses: The advertiser interest in IPL has changed over the years. Some have stopped investing, some look only for special tie-ups, while some get on the spot inventory. What is your view on IPL? The amount of cricket played has dramatically increased over the last five years, with over 250-days of cricket in the recent few years. This is bound to create viewer fatigue and IPL, like some other cricket tournaments, are victims of this cricketing overdose. Further, the novelty of IPL is also waning off rapidly and hence organizers must continue to dwell into creating relevant innovations to hold viewer attention. However, IPL continues to remain one of the biggest media properties for an advertiser. The league thrives primarily on the passion for the game here in India and the Twenty-20 format that has an appeal across all age groups, social stratas & gender. Hence, it is absolutely vital for BCCI and franchisee owners to instill relevant innovations and fresh appeal into the tournament to capitalise on the mass appeal of IPL format. The IPL rating on a broader note has shown a decline trend. Why do you think it still commands advertiser’s interest? Overdose of cricket in an already crowded schedule is the main cause of the decline along with the lackadaisical form of the national side. Too much of the game creates fatigue and thus leading to empty stadiums, lower gate collections and further erosion in the fan base. During the IPL there aren’t any bilateral series involving India or big banner movie releases; leaving advertisers with no choice of other high ticket sporting events. Therefore it cannot be removed from the advertiser’s radar. Cricket continues to be one of the safest bets for any advertiser, esp. for products & services of mass market appeal, wherein all matches involving India have significantly higher traction. What would be a good series average number for you this year? Last year the average TVR for C&S 15+ was 3.7 TVR? Last year IPL 4 was scheduled right after the ICC Cricket World Cup which India won where fans had an opportunity to enjoy 9 India matches and relish the Indian victory in the Final. This was immediately followed by IPL-4 with an extensive season of 74 games.

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The close scheduling and overdose affected the TVRs greatly and compared to IPL -3 finals in 2010 TVR of 12.85, the 2011 edition’s final between Chennai & Bangalore teams could muster just 6.96 which was the first IPL final to have a single digit rating. However, I expect the current season of IPL-5 to do better than IPL-4 in context of TVRs. The talent of young players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shaun Marsh, Shakib Ul Hassan, etc will be the main draw this year. If they perform, there will be more closely fought matches thus enhancing the TVRs this year. Any big sport is also a great platform for guerrilla marketing. What is your take on guerrilla marketing in IPL? Every sponsor needs to be guarded against guerrilla marketing or ambush marketing. This is a global phenomenon and all big ticket sporting events be it the NBA, Super Bowl or even the FIFA World Cup... there have been instances of competitive brands resorting to unscrupulous methods to derive benefits on other sponsor’s rights. Am sure stake holders within the IPL too are faced with such threats of ambush marketing. The IPL governing body, we understand, has created a stringent framework to deal with any kind of ambush marketing. Every brand invests a lot in leveraging their sponsorship monies and it is the onus of the sporting body to ensure that the sponsors’ rights & entitlements are protected. This is another benchmark to evaluate the value of a sponsorship and further accentuates the confidence levels among the leading sponsors. The IPL, with its communication this year, has once again taken the carnival theme and upped the entertainment quotient in a different way. What is your view on how this proposition will deliver for IPL? The Twenty20 format is a novel format that fans watch for what it offers – a combination of cricket & entertainment. The environment, the innovative cricketing strokes, glamorous cheer girls, peppy music, unique use of the replay screen, shorter playing time, etc makes it the most vibrant cricketing format. The IPL TVC tries to express this with an added creative license. This will certainly raise expectations for IPL5 among fans and will probably help in the demand for match tickets. The proposition can create impact only if the teams deliver fabulous performances with nail biting close finishes. The communication needs to sustain the excitement till the finals. This year, the franchisees have also explored extensive activations in the digital space, the impact of which will be an interesting learning.


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DELHI | MUMBAI

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