Companies are pouring Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) into advertising during the cricket World Cup, which begins in South Africa on Saturday.
While 15 per cent of this is being spent on on-ground placements and 10 per cent on radio, print and outdoor media, 75 per cent, or Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion), will be spent on advertising on Doordarshan and Sony Entertainment Television (SET) -- the networks that have the telecast rights.
If the adspend doesn't sound impressive, consider this: during the last World Cup played in England, the total money spent by companies on advertising was around Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion). In the intervening four years, the advertising pie has grown eight times.
Companies have earmarked up to 40 per cent of their annual advertising budgets for the month-long event. Samsung is spending 40 per cent of its annual adspend during the World Cup.
"The event offers a big marketing and visibility opportunity that can be recalled throughout the year," Ravinder Zutshi, director, Samsung India, said.
Not to be outdone, LG is spending close to Rs 45-50 crore (Rs 450-500 million) -- excluding the Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million) sponsorship fee -- of its annual advertising budget of Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.50 billion) on cricket and cricket-led promotions around the World Cup.
This in spite of the fact that LG has 8 hours of television branding daily by virtue of being the ground sponsor (the LG logo will appear on the ground) across 45 days and 56 matches.
Pepsi, another official sponsor of the event, is spending around Rs 35-40 crore (Rs 350-400 million) of its Rs 90 crore (Rs 900 million) advertising budget during the World Cup.
"The emotional connect with cricket in our country transcends age and culture, and Pepsi enjoys strong association and brand salience with cricket," a Pepsi spokesperson said.
Neither Doordarshan nor SET is complaining. The two claim that their major sponsorships and additional features are fully sold. Doordarshan will have 6,000-6,500 seconds of advertisement in every match, while SET expects 4,500-5,000 seconds of advertisement per match.
Meanwhile, companies have lined up a slew of marketing initiatives during the World Cup. UB's McDowell's No.1 is launching a special edition Cricket World Cup carton complete with the flags of the 14 participating nations.
William Grant & Sons has unveiled a limited edition (185 bottles only) of its 20-year-old whisky, which will be called William Grant's 1983 Special World Cup Blend, to commemorate India's triumph.
Each bottle is numbered and bears signatures of the 1983 Indian team.
Jaypee Hotels is converting its coffee shops into cricket stadiums by creating a pitch, putting up nets and picture frames of the legendary cricketers and will show the World Cup matches live. The service staff will wear thematic uniforms and offer special items named after cricket luminaries.Over to South Africa.