“Over the past decade, many brands have successfully carried out their biggest and most visible branding exercises of the year during IPL. Brands such as Yes Bank and Vivo which were lesser known then and aspired for aggressive awareness, have earned not just recall but also business. For smaller and/or more digital first brands, publishers like Google and Facebook too have provided amazing opportunities. I, myself, was involved in some innovative IPL based campaigns for Vodafone, Nissan, Datsun, etc. that obtained great brand results on Facebook during IPL 2017. And while Facebook and YouTube have been the go to channels for IPL advertising, Hotstar quietly rose as a channel of great importance. Here’s why.
Hotstar has a humongous plus high quality reach during IPL
Hotstar is estimated to reach over 150 Million Indians during IPL 2018; That’s 2/3 of active users of Facebook and 3/4 of the active users of YouTube. Note that Hotstar is estimated to enjoy 50% increase over the 100 Million users From last year. And unlike the TV audience, most of the Hotstar subscribers would be young, more affluent and digital savvy. Plus, over 70% these viewers belong to Urban India.
The viewing experience has been enhanced significantly
Hotstar App will allow users to view the match using any VR headset. They will also be able to select From different camera angles and commentary languages and access on-demand replays and highlights on the “Super-fan feed”. Also, there have been reports that for the 1st time Hotstar will have live IPL telecast (as opposed to the five-minute delayed telecast till 2017) and that there’s a plan to offer the live feed to their premium subscribers.
The Popular Teams are back
Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are set to re-enter this year which will surely lead to incremental upswing in these regions. Brands here must tap this opportunity to the fullest owing to the revamped emotion among the fans. I would highly recommend brands in the following list (and outside) to evaluate if IPL could work for them.
To penetrate further into smaller cities and towns, Hotstar will live telecast the matches in six languages including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali. This again opens up avenues for a lot of regional brands which couldn’t afford the exorbitant TV media.
Conducive Market Development
After Zuckerberg’s announcement of Facebook’s new feed algorithm tweak, we are seeing fewer organic content From businesses, brands, and media. There is increased pressure on paid advertising to fulfil targeted Reach, engagements and awareness From the IPL themed content which will lead to more expensive than ever auctions during the IPL phase. In general, a new advertising avenue is always better than pushing an existing channel for incremental ad space. Hotstar will be the ideal alternative here.
Hotstar’s Strong Advertising Promise
Reportedly, the most popular ad slots will be the 30 second ad slots between overs where advertisers can run 10/15/20/30 second videos as mid roll ads. I’m expecting between 70%-90% video completion rates with these ads which is much higher than the corresponding completion rates in the more popular display platforms.
Without a doubt, brands cannot afford to ignore Hotstar advertising and should move beyond the traditional channels for this IPL season.
Authored By Nishant Singh Didawat, Business Head – Media Strategy & Operations –‘Media Kinnect’, the Digital Media Buying arm of ‘Social Kinnect’