Perspective | TV creating exclusive sponsorship opportunities for new brands...?

We live in that time and age where television has grown over from just an ‘idiot box’ to complete world of information, education and certainly entertainment. With TV channels multiplying day-by-day across genres of – news, general entertainment, movie, kids, in different languages, television business has nothing to stop it.

Understandably competition has heated up to an extent where every broadcaster is trying to get its share of pie by offering high quality content, unique programming and presentation etc. But this isn’t a cake walk. All this is possible under the umbrella of a great budget.

There were days when globally and nationally renowned brands like PepsiCo, Coco Cola, Dabur, Lux, Lifeboy, Samsung along with many others led the rooster of sponsors as the title or associate sponsors.

However, the last couple of years have witnessed winds of change in the television sponsorship scene is concerned. Many new entrants in their respective categories have shot to limelight with their associations with both, small and big ticket properties on television. Brands like Gionee, Vinod Intelligence Cookware, Xolo, Lava, Micromax, Snapdeal, ASKMEBAZAAR and others are now increasingly seen as the title, associate or powered-by sponsor on many television shows, across genres.

In today’s Adgully perspective we asked industry experts across the board what brings a new brand aboard the sponsorship boat of leading TV shows, is heated competition or lack of longer viewer attention taking broadcasters to newer brands etc. Our experts included - Arvind Vohra - India Head, Gionee Smartphones, Mukesh Bansal - CEO, Myntra & Head of Fashion, Flipkart, Shubhodip Pal - CMO, Micromax and Kunal Bahl - Co-Founder & CEO, Snapdeal.com

Speaking of the kind of rise or value addition a brand could possibly derive in terms of sales through these associations, Vohra said, “Television sponsorship has evolved considerably over the past few years. TV sponsorship gives a brand longevity which is key to establishing an emotional association with the audience. Sponsorship has a great impact on the viewers making a brand known which increases favourability and purchase intent. Also TV sponsorship is a nice way to start advertising and to boost and leverage TV presence”.

Heading an e-commerce business himself, Bansal cited that about 2-3 years back, as e-commerce was still at its infancy it required that the company invests in mainstream media to educate masses on the benefits over traditional brick and mortar retail. “Companies also focused on building a strong customer base and brand recall which required a good mix of both TV and digital advertising”, he added.

Pal stated that the mobile manufacturer scrutinises every sponsor opportunity that comes their opined. “We just don’t get associated with anything and everything; we follow distinct strategies based on consumer insights. We as a brand have associated with music, movies and sports events across on air, on ground, radio and online. I think more than thinking about growth in terms of sales, being consistent across platforms or events like this is very important. Association with big properties is good, but it should be consistent”, he said.

Also, many experts believe that while new brands are setting their foot in the new soil, it is important that at some point, they advertise or associate on a large scale, along with and apart from regular, run-of-the-mill advertising.

Sharing his thoughts on the same, Vohra said, “People across age groups are glued to some show on TV and these shows have become a part of their daily lives. Associating with these shows help brands build a brand recall and they go on increase your visibility. Many TV programs are in themselves brands so associating with them adds to your brand credibility and gives you a lot of mileage. Gionee has always tried to connect with the youth and have consciously tied up with shows catering to sports, adventure, music, dance and will continue to do so to strengthen our connect”.

Bansal feels that over the years, television has helped build credibility and stature for new entrants, besides providing mass reach. “Apart from airing ads, we have also partnered with television properties as we believe that both offer engagement and reach. One recent association was with IIFA held at Tampa Bay, USA where Myntra showcased it in-house fashion brands during the IIFA Rocks Nite with Ritesh Deshmukh walking the ramp”, he said.

Pal firmly believes that it is important to get associated with the brand which helps the associating brand to get closer to your consumers. Adding further he said, “You do need certain cost of entry of a brand in the country, so big ticket properties are there but what sort of shows or property you are associating with is really important. Brands should have pulse for the content they want to get associate with”.

Bahl in an official communication said, “The partnership as a sponsor for a television show for us is a strategic decision to reach out to the larger target audience. We are sponsoring Bigg Boss for Colors which is a show which is followed across the country and we wanted to get associated with a name which has a high consumer recall. I feel these kinds of associations are healthy and with a big property like Bigg Boss the money is well spend.”

Citing competition and the benefits such moves promise, he further added, “There is a huge competition in every industry and in the e-commerce space it’s growing, we being the India-based online retailers have been looking for various new ways for raising funds. This kind of association is going to make perfect brand recognition for Snapdeal. In terms of ROI I think time will show, but it’s a right time and platform too to start with.”

While all our experts unanimously voice that sponsorship helps in creating greater impact on the minds of consumers and also helps brands famous and increases purchase intent, we learn that it’s that time of the business where the older MNC brands may just be left behind by the new emerging brand across categories coupled with quick reactions from broadcasters as well. Well, in every case, its comes across as a win-win for both, brands and broadcasters! [By Ranjana Gupta| Twitter : @RGrightsreserve]

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