Home / Industry / Advertising /  Non‐IPL advertisers leverage moment marketing to connect with fans

NEW DELHI : Whether it is Rajasthan Royal's Rahul Tewatia or Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni's winning streak, conversations around the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) dominate social media making it a breeding ground for witty campaigns by brands. A clutch of companies, which are not officially associated with the league, seem to be jumping into such online conversations through moment marketing campaigns leveraging the popularity of the game. From dating app Tinder, furniture brand Nilkamal to delivery startup Dunzo among others are creating engaging campaigns ranging from memes, social media posts to quick GIFs subtly weaving their products/services in a trending IPL conversation across digital platforms.

According to Shradha Agarwal, co-founder and COO at digital first agency, Grapes Digital, on social media the biggest trick to drive engagement is through moment marketing and IPL 2020 is one of the most talked about events. "Therefore, this is a very important content bucket in every social strategy. This occupies approximately 20% of media budgets of every brand. It can go as high as 60% for brands such as Manforce condoms. For a cricket frenzy nation which has been craving for live sports content, IPL is a big saviour and that is why majority of the audiences are watching IPL matches," she added.

The moment marketing campaigns come in all shapes and sizes. It could be a quirky creative asking customers to participate in challenges and win prizes, promoting services through Instagram or Facebook posts or a simple Twitter thread talking about a match/player. Tinder India, for instance, tweeted "Is Rahul Tewatia single? Asking for a friend" after the Rajasthan Royals player hit six sixes in one over. The Twitter thread went berserk with memes and hilarious replies including one from his IPL team creating high engagement for the dating app.

Moment marketing is an agile form of promotion with a small shelf life and therefore brands need to be on their toes and think of witty ideas around what is trending on IPL. "It is a Twitter-first game and that is why most big multinationals stay away from such campaigns. Mostly, digital first brands which have younger target audience tend to leverage moment marketing," said Ashutosh Harbola, founder of influencer marketing company Buzzoka.

Majority of moment marketing campaigns are often done by brands which have to be cautious to not default on the guidelines of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) when it comes to promotions.

BCCI doesn't allow protected trademarks such as using full team names, players wearing official jerseys and logos by brands which are not official sponsors. "We have also hired a law firm Copyright Integrity International to keep a tab on violations done by any brand," said a BCCI executive on the condition of anonymity.

"Brands have to find caveats and use creativity to design these campaigns. I remember during 1996 Cricket World Cup, when Coca Cola became the official drink, Pepsi responded by running a series of ads under the tagline "Nothing official about it" implying that nobody cared about which drink was official because everyone chose only Pepsi. It was a fantastic ambush marketing piece," said Shrenik Gandhi, chief executive officer and co-founder of digital marketing agency White Rivers Media.

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