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The e4m Pitch BrandTalk 2022 witnessed an eclectic panel discussion on why associating with televised cricket is an ideal platform for building brands and exploring the unparalleled scale of televised cricket in India.

The panel consisted of Hema Malik, Chief Investment Officer, Mediabrands India; Puneeth Bekal, Director – Marketing, Mastercard; Samir Sethi, Vice President and Head – Brand Marketing, Policybazaar.com and Ujjwal Sinha, Director – Marketing, CARS24.

The session was chaired by Business Strategist and Angel Investor, Lloyd Mathias. He started the discussion by providing crucial context on the scale of sport, especially televised cricket. “India has a TV penetration of more than 950 million viewers, of which more than 700 million watch live sports on TV. Cricket is a dominant part of television sports viewing. We have seen all forms of cricket be it ICC events, bilateral events or IPL consistently growing in terms of viewership. In the context of IPL, we are talking about 400+ million viewers in a short period of just two months. In short, live sports on television are too big to ignore”

Mastercard’s Puneeth Bekal opened the discussion and went on to explain why viewers prefer sports on the big screen. He noted, “The reason people prefer to consume cricket on TV is because mobile screens are extremely distracting due to notifications and picture-in-picture orientation while multitasking.”
He also said that today TV is still rated as the most trusted medium.

The scale that comes with cricket on television and the increased attention span in general, I think is a great place for any brand to be part of the cricket ecosystem. We are very committed to sport in general and of course to cricket on it,” he said.

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Mathias then asked Lodestar’s Hema Malik to share her clients’ experiences dealing with cricket on TV. “Association with television cricket has played an important role for our customers across categories, life stages, individual product brands or product portfolios. While being the fastest and largest reach aggregator, television cricket offers much more than scale. During cricket events, its our client brands have witnessed significant bends in brand and business metrics.

She further praised Disney Star’s efforts to take care of their platform and how they’ve made it more convenient. “I think Disney Star has done a fantastic job of nurturing their platform, making it multilingual. It’s the only platform in the country of this scale that touches the length and breadth of the nation, and at the same time within the national platform, how they’ve come up with geographic solutions by providing language feeds and local resources like commentary. I think many brands, especially portfolio brands, can leverage this regional targeting with focused, tailored targeting solutions,” she added.

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Policy Bazaar’s Samir Sethi then gave the audience valuable insight into how they used cricket on TV to build not only the brand, but the online insurance category as a whole. Speaking about the power of the medium, he noted, “Cricket on TV as a medium is the largest aggregator of viewership in India. The platform is accessible to a whole range of brands, no matter how big or small their budgets, whether they operate regionally or nationally. There’s something in it for all advertisers. It’s a myth that you can’t do custom targeting on linear TV.”

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Finally, speaking on how the online car marketplaces are leveraging televised cricket, Sinha said: “The room to grow in the car market is huge, which is where we thought dealing with televised cricket was our best bet to capture the masses . There is significant overlap between the TG of the car market and the cricket-watching public on TV. That’s how we’ve been leveraging cricket on TV for the past 7 years and we’ve built the brand behind these associations. When you’re in the used car segment, consumers want confidence in the medium that reaches them, and TV is the only medium that resonates with consumer confidence.”

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