#SSIPLWatch: Inside JBL’s IPL marketing strategy with Vikram Kher

Shamita Islur
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JBL's IPL strategy

Continuing its IPL Watch, Social Samosa talks to Vikram Kher about the brand's IPL strategy, their objective behind the sponsorship, the media mix, and more.

JBL, owned by HARMAN India, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, is using its marketing mediums actively to become a part of popular culture. The brand's marketing strategy revolves around aspects of pop culture such as music, memes, fitness and sports, which are used as a means to channel user experience. 

This year, the HARMAN brand is renewing its partnership with the Indian Premier League team, Delhi Capitals as their Official Headgear and exclusive audio sponsor to strengthen its association with sports.

Delhi Capitals, which is valued at $1.035 billion, brings a strong social currency of 3.5 million followers on Instagram and 2.5 million followers on Twitter. JBL has been making the most of this partnership by releasing digital-media-centric videos featuring Delhi Capitals’ team players. 

Speaking about the association, Vikram Kher, Vice President, Lifestyle, HARMAN India said, “As part of this collaboration, the Delhi Capitals team will wear the JBL logo on their helmets throughout the tournament. The campaign will be supported by extensive advertising across traditional, digital, and social media channels, as well as Below the line (BTL) activations in the trade channel.”

India’s truly wireless stereo (TWS) market grew about 75 per cent to 20.3 million units in 2021 with JBL securing the fifth position with a 4.7 per cent market share according to International Data Corporation's (IDC) India Monthly Wearable Device Tracker report.

Now, with its latest IPL partnership, Kher mentioned that the brand is hoping to establish a strong connection between the JBL brand and cricket-loving Indian consumers who seek a superior sound experience.

Also Read: Expert speak: How AI in advertising is an enabler rather than a threat

The JBL Media Mix

The collaboration marks the brand’s second tie-up with the team since 2019 and will be showcased across all media channels through an all-encompassing 360-degree campaign called ‘Roar ka Shor,’ which is an extension of the Delhi Capital’s team anthem Roar Macha. It also combines JBL’s love for music. 

JBL's IPL strategy also includes creating consumer contests on social media, wherein a few winners will get passes to watch DC match tickets. 

Kher shares that the campaigns will be strategically targeted towards the relevant audience across digital media, e-commerce platforms, and outdoor media; including Delhi airport terminals, malls, and retail in-store activations.

Additionally, consumers and trade partners will have the opportunity to receive curated autographed merchandise from JBL and Delhi Capitals.

Overall, the brand is actively leveraging the DC team players’ presence to add value to the marketing efforts. 

JBL had previously sponsored the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, the football team Mumbai City FC and many more sports teams around the world to reach its target audience which encompasses the youth. 

As a multinational brand, HARMAN always strategizes its investments and marketing plans with a long-term vision in mind, according to Kher. 

This is why, when considering its team partnerships, the brand takes in factors such as the team's past track record, the resonance of the sport among the target audience, key players' appeal, players' enthusiasm for the brand, on and off-ground engagement levels, and overall deliverables agreed upon with the league and JBL.

Music & Marketing

Apart from sports, the brand’s larger media mix centres the collaborations with music events, endorsements from celebrities and a healthy mix of influencer marketing to showcase its products. 

Sharing the idea behind these collaborations, Kher said, “We only collaborate with events and endorsers who share the JBL belief in the perfect sound.”

The brands’ partnerships with ambassadors and endorsers, both past and present, come from a common love for audio in all its forms and include performing artists, sound engineers, film personalities, sports athletes, content creators, and audiophiles. 

As of now, its roster includes names like Sara Ali Khan, Martin Garrix, Ranveer Singh, and A.R. Rahman. According to Kher, the brand sees immense value in these diverse and multicultural collaborations which are centred around the art of storytelling. 

With its tagline ‘Dare To Listen’, JBL believes in their commitment to showcasing and elevating talent and their ideas. With this in mind, the brand joined hands with ambassador Martin Garrix’s Music Academy to help train aspiring musicians and propel their careers. 

Kher said the response to the JBL x Martin Garrix Academy exceeded their expectations. “We received over a thousand entries pouring in from all over the world, including 250+ entries from India alone. In total, our social media platforms received over 20 million impressions, 2 million video views, and 1.5 million engagements throughout the campaign.”

The brand tends to launch new products at events they are sponsoring. They have also taken the route of influencer marketing quite often to create a buzz around their new product drops, as part of their offline and online strategy. 

Apart from that, JBL also jumps in on moment marketing trends and uses meme marketing to capture the pulse of the socio-verse. 

JBL’s communication channels, both digital and traditional, will feature the latest launches in the noise-cancellation headphones, TWS, and soundbar categories, Kher share in conclusion.

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