It’s a strategic time-out. Who is doing what on the marketing canvas of IPL season 9? Which brands are supporting their TV ad campaigns with digital marketing? And what do the brands need to do in the next half of the season?
IPL indeed brings out Ek India Happy wala. In a diverse social and economic setting, cricket brings a population of 135 crore
people together. IPL, the gala of cricket, has even more and deeper reach evoking emotional bonds with teams and players. For
a marketer, an audience this size and wide is a goldmine.
The introduction of 2 new teams along with the online live streaming on HotStar has created a new set of opportunities for
companies to place their marketing bids. Even startups like Zeven, Shuttl App and Tyka are not shying away from competing
with brands with deep pockets like Freecharge, Myntra and Yes Bank.
Companies who spent millions for a prime spot either saw their investment rewarded or a golden opportunity slip through the
gap. This report is an eﬀort to see how companies supported their campaigns via social media, display marketing, and content
With a half of the tournament gone, this is a perfect time to take a mandatory "strategic timeout" and see how companies
have performed in the IPL 2016.
Ÿ Most companies use Twitter as their major engagement platform while Facebook is reserved for long write-ups like contest
Ÿ Brands with clear hashtag strategy, well-planned content strategy and a better social media execution emerged as winners
irrespective of on-air ad purchase.
Here’s our Scoring methodolgy
Social media Display marketing Content strategy
Brand who excelled in all 3 ﬁelds will be wearing the most enticing prize for an advertiser
Scoring & Methodology
We tracked three aspects of digital marketing:
Ÿ Social Media
Ÿ Content Strategy
Ÿ Display Marketing
We used in-house tools to track the social media proﬁles—Facebook and Twitter—of brands who are either oﬃcial IPL sponsor
or sponsor of IPL franchisees. We have tracked the companies from April 8, 2016 to April 28, 2016.
On the content and display marketing side, we deployed our team to track the social media content during the games and
display ads on relevant websites and apps.
These three aspects of scoring have been further elaborated in each of its respective section
Brands with on-air TV ad spots left no stone unturned to capture the attention of the audience on social media. But on this
front, they also competed with brands who didn't purchase high-priced on-air TV ads. Many unsung brands captured the show
on Social Media.
Brand engagement Brand activity Replies to customers
Brand who batted well in the social media crease
Ÿ People found the content of FreeCharge and Yes Bank the most engaging.
Ÿ On brand activity side, all the brands fared well and almost equal.
Ÿ FreeCharge and Britannia5050 had an upper edge because, unlike Yes Bank and Ginoee, they were able to establish
conversations (replies to customers) with their audience.
Orange Cap: Top 5 Contenders
Social MediaPg 6
x1Brand engagementKey Brand activity Replies to customers
Myntra and FreeCharge ruled the engagement chart (likes, shares, comments, and retweets). They integrated their IPL
campaign with game as well as their brand. Myntra came up with #IFL (Indian Fashion League) while FreeCharge is doing it
Top 11 Brands by Total Engagement
(likes + share + comments + favorites + retweets)
Social MediaPg 7
Engagements were also analyzed by speciﬁc engagement type. The three engagement types measured were:
Ÿ Applause, representing favorable responses and including metrics such as likes and favorites,
Ÿ Conversation, representing consumer responses and including metrics such as comments and replies,
Ÿ Ampliﬁcation, representing brand advocacy and including metrics such as shares and retweets
Only Freecharge, Britannia 5050 and Yes Bank have been consistent in all three engagement types.
Top brands by Engagement type
Top 11 Brands by Ampliﬁcation
Top 11 Brands by Appluase
(comments + replies) (shares + retweets)
Top 11 Brands by Conversation
(likes + favorites)
Brand EngagementSocial MediaPg 8
Kingﬁsher & Zeven made it to the Top 11 in
ampliﬁcation chart by sweeping out their
Unlike most brands who oﬀered only banner ads,
these companies also came up with a variety of
content including blog posts, GIF and videos.
To get more views and engagement, brands pinned
their most important posts on proﬁle. One such
successful post was by Kingﬁsher which garnered 3
Brand EngagementSocial MediaPg 9
Britannia and DTDC were the most active brands. Britannia leads the chart with 4779 posts with 227 posts a day (all timeline
tweets). Unsurprisingly, almost 95% of these posts are tweets..
Britannia 50 50
Top 11 Brands by Tweet Activity
Top 11 Brands by Total activity
(Tweets + Fb posts)
Pg 10 Social Media
This parameter highlights how well a brand focuses on social communication. The top 4 brands in this category exploited the
power of social media to help establish conversation with customers. They used it for real-time digital customer care. Moreover,
Britannia and Freecharge also engaged their users around the IPL and their marketing campaigns.
Top 11 Brands by Replies to Customers
(No. of replies)
Replies to Customer
Pg 11 Social Media
As Jay Baer says, “Content is ﬁre and social media is gasoline”, strong content is crucial for social media success. Even though
many top brands were burning a lot of cash and eﬀort on social media, they failed to generate original and authentic content
leading to low engagement. On the other hand, some brands like Finolex and Zeven emerged as hidden talents on content front.
Brands who bowled out their opponents with best economy rate
Conversation with users
Personal authentic responses
Game related content
Real time responsive Content creation
Variety in content Creation
Synergy of content with the game
On air publicity of hashtag
Actively used hashtag with the game
How we Scored?
Engagement authenticity Content Development Content distribution Strategy
Ÿ The content and brand voice of all the brands were authentic.
Ÿ Kingﬁsher was the best in content development closely followed by Yes Bank and FreeCharge.
Ÿ FreeCharge and Yes Bank outperformed the other brands in content distribution strategy.
x1Engagement AuthenticityKey Content Development Content Distribution Strategy
Purple Cap: Top 5 Contenders
Pg 13 Content Strategy
The oﬃcial strategic time-out partner Ceat couldn’t make the most of it with poor content strategy. With a dedicated cricket
rating website and social media accounts (Ceat CCR), they could have done wonders. But the big brand failed to spark a real
conversation with users and oﬀered a very little in terms of content.
Freecharge and Yes Bank
These 2 brands had a strong content
strategy and executed them well. Only
these brands displayed hashtags on TV
commercials and used them actively on
social media during the game.
Personal authentic responses, clear
hashtag strategy, and its active use
with the game made Gujarat Lions
sponsor Finolex in the top 3 in
content strategy chart.
The RCB sponsor is the only startup
who made it to the 5th position in
content strategy. They competed with
big brands by generating engaging
and economic content.
Pg 14 Content Strategy
Display advertising is an arena with wide areas to cover. There’s desktop and mobile, video and static banners, and
engagement ads. We tried to cover all the areas to unveil the top performers in display advertising.
We found that the most of the e-commerce companies’ focus is display marketing and they really excel in this segment
The top position is awarded to the brand who guarded the main scoring areas by investing in top display marketing spots
Website for the game
Relevance of the website with the game
Website is hosted on the brand domain
Purchased premium spots on sports website
Ads are related to the TV/digital campaign
On-air ad spot on TV/HOTSTAR
Ofﬁcial campaign website display in the commercial
How we Scored?
Web Engagement Real time AD buys
Brand who ﬁelded well in Display Marketing
Ÿ FreeCharge and Britannia5050 were the best in the web engagement, mainly because of their game related website.
Amazon and Flipkart were only the two brands in top ﬁve who did not focus on web engagement.
Ÿ However, in real-time ad buys, the ecommerce giants, Amazon and Flipkart ruled by leaps and bounds.
Pg 16 Display Marketing
x1Web EngagementKey Real time Ad buys
Blue Cap: Top 5 Contenders
Freecharge was again all over the arena. They came up with
really interesting ways to engage users on their app using
hashtags like #ScoreKyaHoga and #freeChargeBolt. Their ad
campaign is only focused for smartphone users. So they
invested heavily in display marketing, buying realtime ads on
He Deodorant (Emami)
He Deodorant failed to make it to the top 5. But their display marketing eﬀorts were commendable. They have been intelligent
to purchase on-air ad spots during strategic timeouts. Unlike many big brands, He Deodorant tried to make the most of the IPL
with a dedicated website for the game.
Pg 17 Display Marketing
The e-commerce giant didn't come up with a game related marketing campaign like they did last year. Nor did they create a
dedicated website for the campaign. But they did a great job in display marketing by buying ad spots on-air, sports websites,
and mobile apps. If you are an IPL lover, you could ﬁnd them almost everywhere.
Britannia fought hard in display
marketing scoring 4th position in
the chart. They also created an
engaging dedicated website for the
game to support their digital
marketing contests. With more
purchases on real time ads, they
could have easily topped the chart.
Pg 18 Display Marketing
Freecharge is totally standing apart from every other brand. Yes Bank, Ola Cabs, Kingﬁsher and Vodafone are
also making the most of social media. However, many top brands including Ceat, Amazon and even Vivo
itself are missing the digital marketing support for their high-priced ad campaigns.
'Digital' wrote Simon Silvester “is more eﬃcient and more impactful because it can hit only the right people,
and only at the right time.”
It seems Zeven executed its IPL digital marketing campaign with this thought in mind. They are powering
their social media strategy with engaging content and display marketing. Unlike Amazon and Flipkart with
massive marketing budgets, Zeven couldn't buy ad spots. But they are certainly spot-on in their digital
We are still midway in the tournament with peak time yet to come. The companies can still capture audience's
imagination by boosting eﬀorts on social media, content, and display ads.
Meanwhile, the pitch of digital marketing in IPL is looking great for the companies. Who will win? Maybe
the one who understands the pitch.
Score by Category
Top 11 Digital Marketing kings of IPL
That's all for the strategic timeout. We will be back at the end of IPL with all the highlights.
XOR Labs is a digital marketing company specializing in social media, content, and display marketing. We help
businesses maximise ROI using analytics, data-driven techniques, and crafting digital marketing campaigns.
We are helping shape the digital marketing narratives in ecommerce, technology, ﬁnance, healthcare, real
estate, entertainment, and education sector.
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