Sharing his thoughts on this association, Sharma said the youth was at the core of their brand strategy and they always looked for innovative platforms to engage with them and TATA IPL was the only platform that offered them a deeper connect with youth.
“Cricket is a unifying force that touches the hearts of millions of Indians and leveraging this passion is critical for us to be relevant to the consumers. Through Sting’s association, we want to take this opportunity to create awareness and spread Sting’s philosophy of ‘Can-do’ attitude to seize the day that resonates unequivocally with the youth and with the game,” said Sharma.
He further added, “Cricket truly reflects the ‘Can-do’ energy which synchronizes with Sting’s proposition of electrifying each moment. Sting encourages consumers to always maximize each moment of their life with electrifying energy and our association with the much anticipated.”
Over the years IPL on TV has managed to get the largest aggregation of audiences in India including high viewership among youth. With the league this year having 74 matches as against 60 matches previously, and with seven out of ten franchises appointing young captains to represent the team, the resonance with youth is bound to cement further.
PepsiCo’s new brand ‘Sting’ is aiming to leverage this fact. This is visible in the way Sharma talks about the rationale behind this association. “Through this association, we aim to expand brand footprints to a broader and more diverse set of audiences. The association will help establish Sting’s brand proposition of energizing India and it also echoes with the electrifying thrill of the game,” he explains. Not just the expanse in terms of footprint, but IPL on broadcast also dominates ad attention with 1.6x higher attention than other content genres on TV as result of the highly passionate nature of viewing.
The two new teams–Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, are representing massive TV and consumer markets. The inclusion of these two teams have given a big boost to brands associating on broadcast. The state of UP and Gujarat have contributed to 17% of IPL viewership on TV in past editions and are among the top 5 consumer markets in India. With a dedicated IPL team now for each state, this engagement is bound to deliver higher numbers.
“Sting currently enjoys considerable engagement and recall within the regional audiences, given its creative localized narratives and wide reach through the impetus on digital-forward communication approach. Both UP and Gujarat are key markets, this opportunity enables us to further expand our brand footprint and deepen engagement with the audience. We are confident that our campaign will resonate well with the audience,” shared Sharma.
PepsiCo has historically leveraged sports globally as a vehicle to drive brand awareness and impact through Superbowl, Football Mega Events and Cricket. When asked how this long-term association with sports on TV has helped in brand building and brand recall, Sharma admitted that the sports genre delivered on scale and impact unlike other genres.
“PepsiCo India has always innovated and communicated with consumers through the passion points relevant to them - cricket being one of the key passion points for today’s generation. We have always had a quirky, tongue-in-cheek take on pop culture moments. Brands need to have the right mix to be able to communicate with their audiences with snackable content, and entertaining visuals. Mega platforms like cricket, Bollywood, etc fulfil this very requirement and help brands create impactful connect and strengthen engagement with consumers,” he concluded.