While the jury is still out on whether the monies for IPL’s Season 1 came from the above the line (ATL) budget or below the line (BTL) budget, it is quite clear that at least an estimated Rs200 crore was plucked out of nowhere in the second quarter of 2008.
It is true that IPL is inflationary, one that came at a CPRP (cost per rating point, and rating refers to the percentage of viewers a programme would attract) much higher than the normal plan CPRP.
It is also true that fortune has indeed favoured the brave — those who took the plunge had more trust in the format. Some clients came on board with a view to “not miss” the action — and they benefited as well.
It is always easy to have a rear-view mirror to pass judgement and analyse the ifs and buts, pros and the cons, haves and have-nots, but one thing is clear — the second season of IPL will have more “science” than “art” going into the decision making, courtesy the rear-view mirror.
Clients have one full year to plan the course of action. To be or not to be in IPL 2 will now be a more strategic decision, with activities planned around it, not to forget the fact that there is going to be the T20 World Cup immediately after IPL 2 — that makes it 90 days of T20 dosage, as against the 45-day extravaganza we had this year.
It is also important to note that all the research done so far indicates that the “franchise building” is just coming of age in India. Indians have just begun warming up to the possibility of proudly wearing a Kolkata Knight Riders jersey or making a public statement of support for the Chennai Super Kings.
Monies are always finite in the business of marketing and the return on investment will be, and must be, questioned thoroughly. In the case of IPL, it is best if the investments are seen through the line (a marketing strategy which integrates both ATL and BTL communication), instead of ATL or BTL alone, as the potential it offers to positively influence the Indian consumer, come April 2009, is still underexploited.
Gowthaman Ragothaman is managing director, MindShare South Asia.