A common thread among all the big new-age companies, which have evolved rapidly over the past decade, has been sports television advertising. Swiggy, CRED, Spotify, Dunzo, Dream11 and Lenskart are just a few examples of brands that have leveraged sports broadcasting on their journey to becoming giants in their categories. Some of these brands’ most iconic campaigns have been launched on television via mega-events like IPL and the Cricket World Cups for the scale of reach and viewership attention these platforms command. At an event recently, Tanveer Khan, Managing Director of Brand Marketing at Dunzo, spoke about the impact of sport on TV. “One of the most trusted media in India today is TV, and this has an overall impact on your other campaigns as well. Your other channels start giving you better conversion when people watch your content on TV. Beyond the short-term enhancements and brand recall that sport on TV provides, I think the medium sparks a lot of brand conversations, which is what brands are looking for.
In a rapidly changing business environment, an important factor for new era brands is to generate significant scale in the shortest possible time. According to BARC, 700 million viewers watch sports on TV in India; much of which is attributed to the cricket audience. This is an astonishing figure considering India’s TV audience penetration of 900 million compared to India’s smartphone penetration which stands at around 500 million according to industry reports.
Television dominates this scale on the back of strong consumer preference, especially for sports content. According to an industry report, 83% of TV viewers prefer to watch sports on TV with a widescreen effect, with audiovisual quality and lack of internet lag being the main factors determining this preference. Advertisers also agree with this preference, as the platform has helped them drive diverse brand results through consistent associations. Sneha John, Director – Brand and Social at Swiggy, explains how the food delivery category was built on the association with sports on TV. “For us, cricket was a serendipitous discovery in 2017. The testament is to see how the category has grown through this. Most of the marks you remember are marks you’ve probably seen on IPL or cricket, so consistency is the most important factor.
New era brands have seen consistent brand and business results with a number of brands leveraging TV for not just strategic but even tactical business goals. Avi Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer at IGP.com, explains how new era brands are benefiting from sports advertising on TV. “When you’re seen on a sports show, there’s a brand recall and brand love that starts to build. Consumers begin to search for your brand more. We’re a digital-first brand, and you can almost measure ball by ball. There is a direct correlation between TV advertising and website traffic, and it’s pudding proof. »
A recent Consumer Eye study conducted by GroupM found that television retains a unique ability to build brand equity. TV ads rank #1 in conveying positive brand impressions in Asia Pacific. In addition, research also indicates that television provides viewers with a brand-safe environment where brands can be seen alongside premium, high-quality content.
Scale, brand impact and consumer preferences weigh heavily in favor of television as a medium and sports content at the controls for new-age brands. As one of the only content genres that commands viewing by appointment, sports on TV will continue to be the platform of choice for brands and viewers for its high-octane entertainment and collective experience of watching it on the big screen.
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