Mumbai: Advertisers are latching on to the business opportunity offered by the screening of climatic matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 3D at movie halls, notwithstanding the fact that it could be at least three times as expensive as airing a regular commercial.
The last four matches of the Twenty20 tournament, starting with the first semi-final on 21 April and ending with the final on 25 April, will be shown in 3D in selected cinemas across the country, IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said last month.
Big picture: Mumbai Indians’ Harbhajan Singh (left) celebrates the dismissal of Chennai Super Kings’ M. Vijay in Chennai on Tuesday. The last four IPL matches will be shown in 3D in some cinema halls. R Senthil Kumar/PTI
These screenings will also feature the first 3D commercials in India.
“A few of our central sponsors will be converting their 2D ads to 3D,” said Kapil Agarwal, joint managing director, UFO Moviez India Ltd, a technology company that is helping screen the matches. “Beyond this, there are a number of advertisers who have expressed an interest in launching their 3D ads during these matches.”
Hear Ranjit Thakur, CEO of Scrabble Entertainment talk about 3D technology and the future of entertainment
Apart from main sponsors such as Ford Figo, Tata Photon, Union Bank, HPCL and Hero Honda, some other advertisers that include Whirlpool, Kodak, Samsung, Nokia and Vodafone are exploring the option of running 3D ads during the matches, people close to the development said on condition of anonymity.
“We are already in the process of converting our 2D ad into 3D,” said Pratik Seal, senior manager, audio-visual brand marketing, Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd, which recently launched their range of 3D LED television sets.
While brands such as Whirlpool already have a 3D ad ready for use, the biggest challenge for others will be to get their act together in time. The conversion of 2D ads to 3D could take 10 to 14 days.
“We have very little time, so we can only take on a few more advertisers due to the cost as well as time, associated with converting their 2D ads to 3D,” said Gautam Dutta, chief executive of PVR Cinemedia, a division of PVR Ltd that handles all its advertising, marketing and branding tie-ups and is spearheading the sale of all ad inventory for these four 3D matches.
Dutta is looking to sell one-sixth of the advertising inventory on screen at Rs60-80 lakh, which works out to about Rs5,000-6,000 for a 20-second spot in 3D. In comparison, a 2D commercial in cinema halls costs around Rs1,500-2,500 for 20 seconds.
“We are currently evaluating the opportunities there (in 3D ads),” said Viral Oza, head of activation, media planning and online marketing at Nokia India Pvt. Ltd.
“With more and more screens getting converted to 3D, we definitely see a huge potential for 3D ads,” said Ranjit Thakur, chief executive, Scrabble Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Some experts said the novelty of 3D ads could work well for a brand if used strategically. “It’s not so much about the eyeballs (we will reach through multiplexes), but about the way you communicate your brand to audiences there,” said Seal of Samsung India. “In a scenario like this, if you can leverage this (3D technology) and tell consumers that you can experience the same thing at home, then your job is done!”
“Also, it’s not like their investment in creating or converting their ads to 3D will be wasted,” Thakur said. “They could use it for the FIFA World Cup match screenings or during the screening of new Hollywood movies in 3D over the next year.”
Scrabble Entertainment is in talks for the rights to screen the FIFA World Cup 2010 live in 3D in India.
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