New Delhi: The new records of success set by the just-concluded Twenty-20 domestic cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL), are inspiring many firms in India to replicate the success internally.
Companies across sectors have launched new marketing campaigns, products, and team-building programmes themed around IPL to cash in on the residual popularity and the success of the tournament.
Marketing device: The success of the IPL is being replicated by several companies that want to ride on the popularity of the tournament
PepsiCo India Holding Pvt. Ltd’s food division Frito-Lay, for instance, is running an internal contest called “Frito Premier League” or FPL, for its sales team.
The company has divided its sales teams across the country into five and each team has been named after the IPL teams. They are called Southern Challengers, North RDX, Western Warriors, Eastern Tigers and the fifth team that looks after modern trade is called MT Max.
According to the company, each team has the target of boosting sales in its respective region and expanding market share, and the one that pushes the boundaries the farthest wins the FPL title.
“At Frito-Lay India , it has always been our endeavour to motivate our employees to keep up their spirits through various innovative initiatives,” said a company spokesperson.
“This initiative has been named as Frito Premier League because it resonates with the concept of IPL, wherein the competition was amongst the various regions of the country and was the flavour of this summer 2008,” he said.
Interestingly, each team is “owned” by an executive duly chosen by team members and they also have their own brigade of cheer leaders.
“IPL was the most popular and successful event of the recent times. It resonated with people across age groups, socio-economic classes and even regions,” said M.K. Machiah, general manager, MindShare, a leading media buying agency from the WPP group.
“Companies, thus, are likely to try to exploit IPL’s popularity and recall among people by using the tag and the theme for different purposes,” he added.
It was not surprising, thus, that SET MAX, the films and events channel of Sony Entertainment Television, the official broadcaster of IPL, launched a film festival called “GPL”, or “Great Pictures Lagataar”, immediately after the IPL ended.
IPL helped the channel secure the highest television viewership across genres and the channel hopes that IPL’s popularity will rub on FPL as well.
Broadcaster NDTV Ltd. had no IPL rights to boast of, yet its English news channel NDTV 24x7 made a bid to benefit from the tournament’s success by launching two new bulletins titled ‘Newsnight 20-20’ and ‘News 20-20’.
Modelled around the quick and exciting 20-over format of IPL cricket, the two shows pack in 20 news items in 20 minutes without any advertising breaks.
While “News 20-20” is telecast during the day, “Newsnight 20-20” is aired in the evening.
“The 20-20 tagline had a great fit with our idea of a quick, fast-paced news bulletin that packed in all of the day’s important news and events,” said Sonia Singh, senior managing editor, 24x7.
Some companies have tried to draw on IPL’s success by launching new products.
Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd, for instance, launched a new variant of cookies called “Parle 20-20”. The advertising slogan for the product is 20-20 khao, short mein niptao (eat 20-20 as a quick snack) and in the television commercial, it is narrated in a cricket-like commentary.
“IPL had many attributes that can be exploited by marketers of all hues. One, it was an extremely successful property. Two, it had a universal appeal. So, any company, selling any kind of product or service and catering to any segment of consumers can use it to their benefit,” said Machiah.