5 IPL ads we love

28 October 2020 | Radhika for Red Bangle
5 IPL ads

IPL ad films we love!

Investing in the Indian Premier League: yea or nay? We say Yea! As to the why, here are some statistics on the impact of advertising during IPL season in India.

IPL is an advertiser’s paradise. It’s got the audience, the reach, and it’s got multiple slots. We’re talking ad slots of 30-60 seconds every 5 minutes and slots in between innings. 

Added to that, IPL usually falls around the beginning of the festive season in this country. With Durga Puja and Diwali round the corner, there can’t be a better time for brands to advertise.

IPL viewers are mostly the Indian middle class with disposable income and this fact is lucrative for every brand out there. A few years back when cable TV and dish TV were still kings in the market, we had Sony Max and Star Sports getting all the viewers and TRP and as a result, tv ads gathered plenty of traction.

But since OTT platforms became huge in India, the game has become more interesting. Disney + Hotstar in this year alone has roped in 13 sponsors and expects a revenue of 300 Crores INR from ad spends. The platform also allows for targeted advertising based on user profile and brands are advised to invest 15-45 lakhs for optimal use of the IPL ad slots. 

Star Sports, the official broadcasters of IPL, is expected to exceed last year’s revenue of about 2000 crore INR this year. 

An article by Business Insider reports that the opening match of the 2020 IPL was watched by 200 million viewers.

This huge number with respect to viewership and ad revenues is hardly any surprise given that IPL is a big event on a lot of Indians’ calendars. This year especially, the viewership is higher than ever since most of us are stuck at home all day.

We’re talking big money here

Not only is IPL a media sensation, it is also the BCCI’s cash cow. Duff and Phelps put the franchise’s valuation at $6.8 billion USD as of 2019.

The cash flow is not just limited to the players and BCCI. According to data provided by the BCCI, IPL contributed $182 million to India’s GDP in 2015. As an ecosystem, it has matured into a stable and self-sustaining model that benefits the sports tourism industry and the advertising industry, among many others.

IPL – A festival in its own right

For a lot of Indians, cricket is religion and Dhoni, a God. But IPL is not just another cricket format, is it? 

As a brand, the Indian Premier League signifies a lot more than a sporting event. It’s entertainment power packed with bold colours and theme songs. It’s glamorous, complete with cheerleaders and celebrities. But above all, it’s very Indian, with a core ideology.

Much like Dream11’s tagline: Yehan sab same hai, yeh apna game hai, IPL too captures the essence of Gully cricket where everyone is treated equally. IPL belongs not to the star-studded players who’ve been bought for crores, but to the common man. It is that one brand in the country that brings glamour and entertainment close to its viewers.

It’s no wonder that IPL season is almost like a festival.

Here’s our pick of the 5 best ads made for IPL, since 2008:

1. CRED’s Not Everyone Gets It (2020) 

These ads are definitely a good comic break from everything happening around us. Some would even venture to call them disruptive. Usually when brands hire stars to act in their advertisements, the purpose is brand endorsement. But this wasn’t the case here.

CRED got stars like Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, and Bappi Lahiri to act in this series of 3 ads. All three actors are trolled. They are seen auditioning for CRED. The message: CRED is not for everyone.

In fact, Jim Sarbh explains the CRED concept in a separate video. The brand rewards people with good credit scores. If you behave, you might be admitted into the CRED club. 

Shailendra J Singh, the managing director of Sequoia, says that the brand’s IPL campaign yielded 6-7x increase in their daily sign-ups.

Shailendra CRED

2. Facebook’s More Together Campaign (2020) 

Now more than ever, we need to see and hear inspirational stories of how our communities beat adversities by working together. And now more than ever, we need positivity. 

Facebook realised this and released a cricket-theme rendition of their More Together campaign, launched earlier this year. A series of 4 ads, Facebook decided to tell inspirational stories of how people came together on the platform during the pandemic to make a difference.  

The Jersey ad film follows IPL fans who order jerseys of their favourite teams while they enjoy IPL from their homes. This in turn benefits a small business.  

In a press release, Avinash Pant, Director-Marketing, Facebook India, said, “Over the last few months we have witnessed really powerful stories of how people came together through our platforms to face and conquer challenges during these unprecedented times. Our last two phases of the More Together campaign were a testament to this collective power. As we head into the festive season that’s set to be unique this year, we wanted to highlight how our collective actions can create beautiful outcomes. We hope people are inspired by these stories, and see a world made better when they come together.”

3. Pepsi IPL’s Kanna Keep Calm (2014)

Earlier in this article, we brought up the IPL audience. What we didn’t explicitly call out was the age group of the audience.

This ad targets a very specific age group: late teens to early 30s. The actors in the ad <all young Indians> seem to be stuck in mundane situations of everyday life that they want to escape. And what better way to do this than by watching IPL on their mobile devices?

The video has a catchy background score and funny vocals. Needless to say, a lot of people related to the narrative. The ad secured over 3 lakh views on YouTube according to this article by exchange4media.

4. Star Sports’ Game Banayega Name (2019)

The message of this ad ties back to the very spirit of IPL. In India, countless cricketers have risen from the streets by virtue of talent alone. And this ad takes that thought forward. It was hailed as one of the best ads of the 2019 IPL season.

Star bagged the Campaign of the Year award at the Shark awards for this campaign. Notice the clever use of split screen and the two sides literally fighting for space on the screen, and the earthy background score. Added to that, the few seconds in which Dhoni’s stern gaze becomes an endearing smile — all of these small elements contribute to the ad becoming a hit.

Economic Times reports Gautam Thakar, CEO Star Sports saying, “Through this campaign we wanted to truly reflect this thought that, given the right opportunity, anyone with skills and talent can make their mark in the world. The VIVO IPL has already shown in the past that it is an ideal platform for aspiring cricketers to showcase their talent…This campaign reflects the spirit of young India and we are excited to bring the biggest ever IPL on our network.”

5. Sony Max’s The Home of IPL (2009) 

Sports brings people together and signifies hope. And IPL, as a concept, brought together cricket fans from across the world irrespective of race, language or nationality. In the world of cricket, this was a first. This ad by Sony Max, the then official broadcaster of IPL, has a beautiful narrative that brings the world a little closer to the viewer.

2009 was the year IPL had to be hosted in South Africa and this was the first instance where a domestic sporting event was held outside its country of origin and broadcasted back to its main audience in India.

The TVC, as a result, needed to be global in nature, but have Indian roots and ethos. This television advertisement helped to establish that geography and national boundaries are irrelevant in the face of a live television audience united in their love for cricket.

Making disruptive ad films in the COVID-19 era

This year the quality of IPL ads took a hit. As per the why, a lot of people speculate this was due to a hoard of logistic problems caused by remote working. 

Despite the budget cuts in the marketing departments, the brands that did advertise spent a large amount on media spends, creative fees, and hiring celebrities. But the outputs weren’t all that great.

Some argue this was because of low creative budgets. Others say it was the remote working that got to the creatives folks. Whatever be the case, we know this: COVID is here to stay and we need to be making the best out of a bad situation.

At Red Bangle, we have mastered the remote collaboration model. We’ve been doing it for over 4 years now and we’ve got rather good at it. Check out our portfolio for some of the videos we’ve made in the past.

Your brand needs ads that will stay on in the minds of the viewer much after the IPL season is over. And we can help you achieve that with tv commercial ads production across the globe. Drop us a note on [email protected] and let’s make a disruptive ad film now!