With free streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, much like the recent Indian Premier League, is anticipated to attract a massive audience. Brands are aiming to capture viewers' attention by combining contextually relevant messaging with AI (artificial intelligence). From adding seamless shopping options to cross platform promotions, it's literally about making ads that click!
Brands like Lenovo, Oreo, Kotak Security, Nissan and many others across categories like electronics, FMCG, auto, fintech and beauty are not just timing their campaigns to coincide with the World Cup but also keeping it contextually relevant. To that, some are adding tech to create the complete package.
Auto brand Nissan, for instance, is a perfect example. They have launched the Nissan Victory Roar Contest on their website, where users can predict the match outcomes and roar for their favourite teams. “The contest uses AI to record and score the users’ roars and predictions. Users can win match tickets daily and compete for semi-final and final tickets. The contest also has a leader board to show the daily and tournament winners,” said Mohan Wilson, Director - Marketing, Product and Customer Experience, Nissan Motors India.
Nissan is a partner of ICC for the eighth year, and they wanted to celebrate the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 with fans, followers, and customers. But they are also using this as a top of the funnel marketing tactic.
“The contest is a unique and exciting way to attract young audiences to our website and introduce them to our brand, heritage, and products,” Wilson added.
The purpose of reach is evident in the site visits that crossed 50,000 visitors in the first few days of the initiative.
Why are the brands choosing the World Cup for these initiatives?
While reach is the primary answer, there are other purposes too. Amplifying engagement at a time when the country is also prepping for the festive season are important factors behind brands going all out.
Sonia Khurana, Chief Operating Officer at Digitas India, explained.
“The ICC World Cup is the sporting event of the year in India, but it is also an expensive event for most advertisers. It is also coinciding with the festival season this year! Whatever the brand's business/marketing objectives are, brands are looking to maximize the event and their investments. And leveraging technology is a way to provide a more immersive, personalised experience to their audiences in an extremely cluttered space,” Khurana said.
Digitas also conceptualized, designed and delivered the Nissan Victory Roar Contest.
Inventory buying trends on digital
Interestingly brands are not just investing in the official streaming partner for their marketing communications. They are also investing in other platforms that attract customers.
“So what advertisers are also doing is instead of tying up with the broadcasting company, they are actually working out deals with service providers like a Jio or an Airtel and serving their ads on that platform. So, every time there is an India match and you want to log in and you are a Jio user, as a brand I have that opportunity of showing you communication before I head to Hotstar,” said Barin Mukherjee, Co-founder and CEO at digital marketing agency, Digital Refresh Network.
This is where brands are leveraging connected TV, collaborating with service providers for targeted communication.
“This strategy allows brands to engage with an affluent audience with a predisposition towards cricket,” said Mukherjee.
It’s all about AI. “There will be an intervention of AI, which analyses your consumption data in terms of which other pieces you're following, what time you are logging in and so on. A bundle of all of that will give the brand a sense of your propensity to open the app for a match and then they serve you with their communication,” he added.