SSIPLWatch: Bisleri’s Tushar Malhotra on leveraging IPL to promote sports and hydration

Shamita Islur
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Bisleri’s Tushar Malhotra

Tushar Malhotra of Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd. walks us through the brand’s IPL marketing plan, how it is building better youth connect and keeping up with greener advertising.

For bottled water company Bisleri, their IPL associations are part of a broader subset of the recently released #CarryYourGame campaign. The brand, which has been synonymous with hydration for decades, wants to establish a stronger connect through sports by promoting a fit and healthy lifestyle with their consumer base, as per Tushar Malhotra, Head of Marketing, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd. 

Bisleri has teamed up with four of the most popular IPL franchises including Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Titans, Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals as their Official Hydration Partner for the Indian Premier League 2023. 

The idea isn’t just to promote the most essential hydration commodity, it is to promote all sports. Bisleri’s #CarryYourGame digital video campaign associated with Olympic sports features Lovlina Borgohain - World Boxing Champion, Manpreet Singh - Indian Hockey Olympic Medalist, Ashwini Ponnappa - World Badminton Champion and Nishad Kumar - Paralympics Medalist. 

“Besides, we will be further associating with leading marathons and other sports with the objective of positioning Bisleri as not only the most renowned packaged drinking water brand but also a brand that is synonymous with hydration and driving peak human performance,” Malhotra said referring to the campaign as one of the largest integrated marketing campaigns. 

Keeping IPL a part of a broader subset of marketing

Quoting IPL as one of the ‘largest sporting spectacles’ in the country, Malhotra mentioned how the brand aims to leverage the platform’s popularity and the power of product communication to drive their objective. 

They have launched limited-edition bottles with each of the partner teams, acting as a collectible series. These limited-edition bottles are available nationwide in key cities, generating excitement for consumers and trade partners.

“We have deployed the #CarryYourGame co-branded communication with the teams in over 60,000 retail outlets across India, bringing the IPL festival-like atmosphere to our trade partners, driving more footfalls and building brand love. We also have over 400 Bisleri and partner teams co-branded delivery trucks running across the country, spreading the message of #CarryYourGame.”

Bisleri is building upon their in-stadium presence across dug-out and practice matches through branded Visi coolers and ice boxes. They have also stationed exclusive product vending to provide a rich experience to their consumers.


Credit: LinkedIn

Building youth connect 

Through IPL, the brand has kept the focus on creating fun content that is shot with each of the team partners to create brand affinity and running contests on the radio platform to engage with consumers. 

Apart from the league, the brand is looking to strengthen their youth connect through digital-first and innovative campaigns. A healthy mix of quirky humour, use of animals like camels and cats and pop culture is sure to entertain the youth. Bisleri has kept that in mind while driving their memorable ‘Peeyo Bisleri’ tune. 

Also Read: Making of Spinny IPL campaign: Arshdeep Chhabra, Tanya Mahendru & Arjun Varain Singh lift the veil

“When it comes to youth connect, it is important to understand the mindset of the youth and their media habits, which are primarily digital. Today’s youth understands the importance of hydration and having a fit and healthy lifestyle, and the #CarryYourGame campaign builds on that insight,” Malhotra said while talking about their digital initiatives. 

Over the years, Bisleri’s brand communication has evolved from ‘Har paani ki Bottle Bisleri Nahin’ to ‘Samajhdaar Bisleri Peete Hain’, and has taken a step further from quenching thirst to driving the narrative of hydration, and enduring performance.

Increasing focus on sustainability and D2C channels

The youth today, doesn’t just care about the digital world but worry about creating a difference in society and tend to support brands that bring a change. As per a report by Dentsu International and Microsoft Advertising, 91% of consumers want brands to show by example that they are environmentally friendly. 

Bisleri through their new campaign #GreenerPromise, is working towards building a greener future. “While our sustainability campaign, Bisleri #GreenerPromise, highlights our efforts to continue to be a sustainable organization. Our commitment to making our planet greener and being a brand with a purpose is extremely important to stay relevant to today’s youth.” said Malhotra. 

They also have a programme called 'Bottles For Change' which focuses on creating awareness about recycling plastic and bringing behavioural change.

Alongside this, he mentioned that the brand’s segue into D2C with the Bisleri@Doorstep app and the recently launched digital campaign #AbBisleriApneAppAayega have also helped them reinforce their connection with the youth and innovate through a unique marketing media mix. 

Malhotra noted that over the last few years, the growth of the D2C category has been fuelled by consumers shifting to quick shopping at the convenience of their doorstep. This has been propelled by increased internet penetration, digital infrastructure advancement and buying preference. 

He said, “Since the launch of Bisleri@Doorstep, we have been able to reach consumers at their homes. As a result, we have seen an exponential in revenue from launch till date.”

The brand has also tapped into the cult-like fan following of the Southern market by launching limited edition bottles with major blockbuster South movies. They began this journey last year with RRR and have gone on to launch limited edition bottles with Vikram, Ponniyin Selvan I, Walter Veerayya, The Godfather, to name a few. 

“This has helped build a stronger connect with not only the consumers but also with our trade partners, which eagerly anticipates our next association. ”

Bisleri is poised to launch in the UAE in the near future, imparting global and international imagery to the brand. They also aim to keep up with their current marketing initiatives to drive youth connect, build the hydration narrative and keep up with the sustainability initiatives. Overall, the ‘Peeyo Bisleri’ catchphrase is still going strong. 

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