Thanks to IPL, the period between April – June has become a carnival of sorts for brands – much like the Diwali/Christmas season. With the help of exciting campaigns and raining discounts, all the major brands out there want to ride the IPL wave in order to capture the attention span of their audience.
Kingfisher, the Good Times Partner to 7 out of the 8 IPL teams, is also making commendable attempts at tapping into the IPL frenzy in the digital medium. Trying to leverage the competitive spirit of teams & positioning itself as the common factor amongst them all (Hence the tagline “Divided by teams, united by Kingfisher), Kingfisher’s campaigns around the IPL are well thought out and interesting.
Short Campaigns vs Long Campaigns
Short campaigns – campaigns that run for a few hours or a couple of days at max – are good for a short burst in engagement & generating buzz, but they fade away as quickly as they end. Few days down the line, many won’t even remember about it.
In such a context, Kingfisher’s campaigns are there for the entire duration of the IPL season. The Beer Premier League is an IPL style competition with 10 cities being represented by their teams during the KFBeerUps.
As the IPL season progresses, Kingfisher organizes BeerUps in every city represented in the IPL (along with Pune & Kochi). The registration is free and the form is shared on Twitter, which gets over really fast – this year, all the 100 slots in Mumbai got over in just 47 seconds!
During the Beer Up, people take part in various activities such as Beer pongs, Chugging challenge and the likes and each city garners points based on their performance in such activities. All these points are added up to the Beer Premier League points table for each cities.
Each game within the Beer-up has their own National records (very much like Olympics) and people vie to break them.
With a city vs city battle, Kingfisher has created a long-term campaign that rides the IPL wave and gives them solid returns in the form of brand recall & strengthen their positioning as the ‘King of Good Times’
To keep it interesting, the long term campaign has also been interspersed with some short campaigns such ‘Say Cheers’ – where you invite one of you Facebook friend to simply say cheers with the help of a mobile site – and the ‘Book Cricket’ – which translates the game of book cricket on the digital medium.
The Online-Offline Connect
These Beer-ups are also a great way for the brand to connect with their fans in the offline space. While the games played during the Beer-ups are competitive, they are equally fun and engrossing.
There are lots of rules & regulations around the marketing for alcohol brands already, which it makes it all the more necessary for them to reach out to their audience in an effective manner.
By inviting the fans to the Beer-ups and giving them a great experience, Kingfisher is positioning itself as a a fun brand and brining itself close to the audience.
Leveraging People’s Emotions – No Need for Gratification
There’s an abundance of digital campaigns which are trying to lure people in by offering iPhones & iPad Minis as gratification; and they have consistently managed to bring in a good number of people – the contest players.
However, such campaigns hardly make a difference to the brand.
On the other hand, when I look at Kingfisher’s Beer Premier League campaign I see them getting a good reception without any such gratifications. The Beer Premier League is all about making use of people’s competitive spirit and delighting them over their victories.
And I am quite sure that people whom you gratify with an emotional high are much more likely to become loyal to your brands as compared to offering them a materialistic gift which even your competitor can offer.
Building a sustainable property
With Beer Premier League, Kingfisher has built a sustainable property for itself around the game of Cricket. Going forward, Kingfisher can leverage this property every year during the IPL season and engage with its community.
Moreover, even people would be looking forward to it since it has already stuck a chord with them. Making it an yearly affair will ensure that people come to them again and again and effective word of mouth will ease the marketing efforts.
It is great to see a big brand showing the way how branded campaigns should be executed. By creating a long-term sustainable property, Kingfisher is making great use of word of mouth marketing to position itself as the ‘King of Times’
And adding small add-on campaigns like ‘Say Cheers’ and ‘Book Cricket’, Kingfisher is keeping the novelty factor up. Going forward, the challenge for them would be to evolve constantly and keep format interesting in order to avoid it from becoming repetitive.