IPL 2024 ad rush: Lower barriers attract over 1000 brands to digital platforms

Furthermore, CTV (connected television) universe is on a growth trajectory in India, with advertising on CTV going from Rs 450 crores to Rs 1000 crore in 2023.

By  Tasmayee Laha RoyFeb 19, 2024 10:56 AM
IPL 2024 ad rush: Lower barriers attract over 1000 brands to digital platforms
As per insiders close to developments, the number of small ticket size deals JioCinema signed last season was upwards of 600 with the smallest deal having a price tag as low as Rs 1 lakh. (Image source: twitter.com/IPL)

The upcoming IPL (Indian Premier League) 2024 season is witnessing a surge in advertiser interest on digital platforms, with nearly 1000 brands joining the fray. This shift is attributed to the low entry level barriers and overall cost-effective targeting capabilities offered by digital platforms, compared to traditional television advertising.

“Jio Cinemas may well see over a thousand brands this season. With a plethora of simultaneous live feeds across varied languages, advertisers have ample opportunities to establish their presence and leverage the extensive reach during this season,” said Russhabh R Thakkar, Founder and CEO, at ad tech company Frodoh World.

While television provides a single point of reach, covering all points across India, the lack of region-specific feeds may lead to spillovers, limiting the targeting precision that advertisers can achieve. In contrast, digital platforms offer the flexibility of geo-targeting and demographic targeting, allowing advertisers to reach specific audiences with precision.

This has attracted numerous new advertisers to the digital space, leveraging the ability to target and retarget effectively.

As per insiders close to developments, the number of small ticket size deals JioCinema signed last season was upwards of 600 with the smallest deal having a price tag as low as Rs 1 lakh.

TV vs digital cost

“TV inventory is finite hence they can’t go below a certain threshold when it comes to pricing but when it comes to digital its not finite. There is no limitation for them when it comes to pricing even if you compare IPL inventory to other cricket properties on TV So IPL on digital from an entry level point of view can actually be cheaper for advertisers when compared to other cricketing properties on TV too,” explained a media planner who did not wish to be named.

Again, it is important to understand the spending pattern on TV and digital. TV has set rules on the minimum number of matches an advertiser can buy. For digital there are no such barriers.

“For digital one day communication is also possible. An advertiser can buy 1000 impressions too and those can be burnt anywhere. Plus there is a non live ecosystem too on digital where cost is very low and it guarantees viewership from hard core fans so you can invest there as well,” explained another media planner.

According to industry estimates, the cost of TV ad spots are anywhere between Rs16-18 lakh for 10 secs and planners generally suggest buying a minimum of three spots for one match and buying at least for 20 matches for actual impact.

“So you can imagine the difference. We are not comparing impact here, we are comparing prices and entry level barriers,” the planner added.

Growth in CTV ecosystem

The CTV (connected television) universe is on a growth trajectory in India. According to a recent Madison report on advertising on Connected TV increased from Rs 450 crores to around Rs 1000 crore in 2023.

A combination of increased digital penetration, sports content, OTT content, targeted advertising capabilities and interactive formats have all contributed to this increase.

IPL on CTV saw similar trends in the year gone by. IPL 2023 clocked a unique reach of over 125 million on official streamer JioCinema. CTV viewership was reportedly 3X of HD TV live viewership.

“The entry-level spending for a brand on CTV during IPL can start as low as Rs 1 crore, which might seem minimal compared to traditional TV advertising. However, CTV provides flexibility, enabling advertisers to target specific matches or even moments within matches, such as catches, sixes, or milestones, for contextual advertising. This approach is advantageous for advertisers representing specific teams or markets as they can tailor their strategies accordingly. Unlike TV advertisers who focus on maximising GRPs (gross rating point), CTV offers the advantage of targeting specific audiences within a region,” said Thakkar.

According to Thakkar, last year's data highlights a consistent growth trend in CTV ad spots during IPL, increasing from 78 spots per match in week 1 to 94 spots per match in week 4, marking a 20 percent increase.

“On average, CTV featured 88 ad spots per match, indicating the growing prominence and effectiveness of CTV advertising in IPL,” Thakkar said.

Thakkar however suggests brands to be not inclined towards a full-scale IPL presence but seek to reach audiences during this high-demand period.

“We recommend a strategic presence across IPL content and other non-IPL video-on-demand content, ensuring they resonate with the same target audience without competing directly with big-budget advertisers, " he said.

This approach, coupled with nitpicking specific matches and moments, along with content partnerships across channels, is designed to build a cost-effective reach metric. It allows brands to tap into the affluent IPL audience while avoiding clutter and optimising their impact across various content domains on CTV.

First Published on Feb 19, 2024 10:56 AM

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