In conversation with Social Samosa, Snehil Gautam sheds light on how Housing.com leveraged television advertising during IPL 2020 to create brand awareness with precise targeting.
In an unprecedented year, we saw many unprecedented advertising and marketing trends. This includes IPL 2020, where the industry witnessed some of the best television campaigns. Snehil Gautam, Head of Marketing & Growth at Housing.com, Makaan.com & Proptiger.com gets in conversation with Social Samosa, taking us through the insight behind the brand’s first IPL campaign on television.
Take us through your business objectives behind investments in IPL on TV Advertising and the insights that led to this decision
Our business objective was clear – we are trying to become a leader in real estate, so the primary objective was to increase brand awareness among our core audience. Why IPL 2020? That was a very calculated risk for us. COVID-19 had impacted revenue in the real estate sector and we were working on a road to recovery. We knew that our competition would not invest in television advertising on IPL and there had been a dearth of entertainment content due to the lockdown in the lives of users. Further, we realized that it is a great platform to reach out to our core TG that is 25-35 year olds, Tier I city, males and females. We knew that 90% of our core audience would be watching IPL in 2020. We also predicted that IPL 2020 is going to be bigger than before and it was true. IPL 2020 garnered massive reach.
Last year was the first time Housing invested in a TV campaign for IPL. How did it benefit the brand, especially in terms of achieving the marketing & business objectives?
For our business, having demand on our platform that is Housing.com is the pillar of our business. It is important that our website is the number one platform for real estate consumers. We claimed a good pie in terms of overall real estate traffic. Our traffic is up by more than 50% compared to pre-IPL levels. Similarly, we have gained market share in the topline revenue. Both audience and revenue growth can be attributed to our IPL campaign.
According to data, post the television campaign, the brand saw a 48% growth in web + mobile traffic since IPL 2020. What were some of the real-time impacts seen by the brand? How did the television campaign help the brand?
What we witnessed was that while the cost for one IPL spot on television is quite high, the impact that it brings on App Install numbers or overall traffic is also huge, especially when compared to any other programs. This can be attributed to the massive viewership enjoyed by the league. As a result of the campaign we saw that our app installs increased 5X – 6X; even the traffic on our website went up by 2X – 2.5X. Post campaign we saw a 50% – 60% increase in app installs. When the campaign was on air we also saw an increase on the supply side which means the number of listings by homeowners, brokers on the website increased. We saw 2X growth in owner supply and a 1.7X increase in broker supply on the website.
In terms of viewership, IPL 2020 witnessed some of the highest numbers, what are some of the viewership trends seen that brands & agencies need to keep in mind?
There is a shift in viewership from television to digital. Another trend is that there is a shift in viewership to HD channels from SD on television. Brands need to track these changes to tweak their budgets. Another point to note is that we are seeing an increase in avenues in IPL advertising. For instance, Swiggy did an activation with balling speeds – they called it delivery speed, showcasing that Swiggy can deliver as quickly as the ball. There will be more avenues within IPL on television like – jersey advertising, parameters advertising, content marketing in IPL programming. Brands need to determine their spends as per consumer shift and decode how these avenues can be used.
As an industry expert, what are the marketing trends that have caught your attention on TV advertising during the IPL, how do you think brands have benefitted?
I think the IPL is gradually becoming the Super Bowl of India. While advertising on these mediums is expensive but at the same time the impact of these ads is extremely high because everyone is watching it. In IPL 2020 we saw that a lot of internet companies advertised on IPL, this can be attributed to the increasing internet penetration in the country. Internet companies find IPL to be a hyper-growth lever and it won’t be surprising to see this trend go in the coming days.
There has been a huge spike in entertainment content across mediums, however, statistics suggest that Live Sports still continues to enjoy higher audience investment in terms of viewership and engagement. Statistics suggest that the brand saw 100% GRPs on cricket during IPL. Why do you think leagues like IPL evoke a stronger consumer reaction?
Last year IPL was bigger because of the circumstances and even as people start stepping out IPL will remain big in India. This can be attributed to the fact that Indians connect with cricket irrespective of geographical or cultural differences. And this will continue to grow.
Which was your favorite IPL television campaign in 2020 & why?
The campaign that I liked the most was done by Dream11. One, it was well created. Because they had celebrity presence it created awareness, secondly and most importantly it had a great insight. The tagline was ‘Yaha sab same hai. Ye apna game hai’, the insight behind this was that when we were kids and played gully cricket, everyone was the same and there was no discrimination whatsoever. This insight was highly relatable as everyone has played gully cricket at some point in their life. It was a great insight, well-targeted, and had a good media budget.
How do you see the trend of television advertising during IPL evolve in 2021?
First, brands will keep investing a big chunk of their spends in IPL. Especially now that brands realize that branding during IPL leads them into a hyper-growth space. You will also see many more internet brands and startups entering the IPL advertising space. There will also be an increase in innovation in advertising – new stories and tech will come up. IPL spots are expensive so people will come up with ways to create short-form ads without compromising on the integrity of their message.
Lastly, IPL itself will come up with a lot of new avenues of on-screen advertising on television.