Sunday face-off with England will be key for marketers too

Swetha Kannan Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018

At the nets before the big game. — G. P. Sampath Kumar

Sunday's face-off with England will be the first real test for not just Dhoni and his men but also for marketers. With consumer interest in the match in Bangalore huge, it is a crucial day for sponsors and advertisers, say industry observers.

“So far the interest level in the World Cup has been pretty low with only minnows playing. Barring the West Indies-South Africa game on Thursday, the actual test for advertisers and sponsors will be on Sunday as only an India match is a real indicator. The match is crucial from two angles — one, India is playing and, two, England is a reasonable contender. It will be interesting to see how marketers fare and how the TRPs turn out,” says Mr Ramanujam Sridhar, CEO, Brand-comm, a brand consulting firm. The India-Bangladesh opening World Cup game did receive good viewership on TV (more than the IPL-3 opener), but Sunday's match is expected to grab greater eyeballs, he adds.

Marketing analyst Harish Bijoor says India's historic connect with England makes for a love-hate relationship with the country and hence the match assumes tremendous jingoistic importance. England beating Netherlands narrowly has also perked up interest levels, says Mr Raghu Vishwanath, Managing Director, Vertebrand Management Consulting.

According to Mr Bijoor, the IPL has temporarily robbed interest from the 50-over format. But Sunday's match is an opportunity for one-dayers to steal back the thunder. “Also, for long there has been boredom in what the marketers do. So this is an opportunity to do something exciting and reinvent themselves.”

While consumer electronics major Samsung is looking to increase the frequency of its TV commercials on ESPN-Star during the Sunday match, Titan is hoping its two brand ambassadors Dhoni and Kohli put up a good show, leading to a rub-off effect on its brands Sonata and Fastrack.

Meanwhile, the hysteria is palpable in Bangalore. Even with cricket fans queuing up overnight outside the stadium to book tickets, many returned empty-handed. Bookings for the match started at 8 a.m. on Thursday and within a few hours tickets were sold out. There were even reports of clashes between fans and the police.

Published on February 24, 2011

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