#SSIPLWatch: Deepak Chhabra & Vivek Chaturvedi on how Timex's legacy meets championship spirit of Gujarat Titans

Paawan Sunam
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Timex India

Timex India is running a lengthy inning in partnership with Gujarat Titans as their official timekeeper. In conversation with Deepak Chhabra and Vivek Chaturvedi from Timex, we dive into the pitch to understand how the collaborators are maintaining their strike rate on performance indicators.

This IPL season is the debut of Timex India in alliance with Gujarat Titans, as an associate partner. Timex aligns its brand values with the defending champions and presents a collaboration to reach a countrywide consumer base and showcase a wide array of product portfolio.

In conversation with Deepak Chhabra, Managing Director, Timex Group India, and Vivek Chaturvedi, Chief Of Marketing, Timex Group India, we go behind the scenes to understand how the campaign is playing out on the front foot.

The Objective Of Partnership

The massive reach and exposure, targeting of a PAN-India demographic, and emotional connect with fans are already established merits for a brand associated with the league. Chhabra delves deeper into the objective of collaborating with the prominent team.

He explains the brand dispenses two large campaigns in the year, one is around this quarter for the period between April-May and another is closer to the festive season, which is Diwali. The timing of IPL matched with the timeline of the first campaign and IPL is the biggest sporting spectacle around the globe.

"With about half a billion unique viewership and the consistent tournament period which lasts for about 7 to 8 weeks, and India being a country that breathes cricket, it was the obvious choice to be a part of IPL", he adds.

Out of the various preferences on different ways of being a part of the league, such as buying media during that time, or associating with a team, Chhabra shares, "We found that getting associated with the team is a much better choice rather than just buying media". Gujrat Titans being the defending champions and a successful team led to the team being the choice to associate with when it came down to choosing the team.

Elaborating the league structure being favorable for brand visibility, he reckons that the reach is humongous and " you cannot reach half a billion people with whatever you may do", he shares that the tenure is lengthy with 14 committed matches, and playoffs and the concluding phase if one qualifies.

The brand will also feature on the trousers of the Gujarat Titans kit. "As a part of the deal, we also have rights to a lot of assets, and being part of the jersey leads to visibility all the time. Then we also have an AV shot with the three players Wriddhiman Saha, Rahul Tewatia, and Shubman Gill. Gujrat Titans is a team where everybody's performing and contributes, and that's how we make it work", he says.

Timex - Choice of The Titans

Timex India launched a 360-degree campaign as the official timekeepers of the team called 'Choice of The Titans' featuring Wriddhiman Saha, Rahul Tewatia, and Shubman Gill. The campaign blends the dedicative nature of the team with a reinforced brand positioning to target both cricket and watch enthusiasts.

The campaign is being distributed on TV, Digital, and Radio. The ad film would be aired in between primetime shows such as 'India’s Best Dancer' and 'The Kapil Sharma Show' being telecast via Sony TV, along with Jio Streaming, and Radio City. It will further be amplified through outdoor hoardings in 10 cities, and Timex India's social media handles. The brand also launched three special edition watches co-branded with Gujarat Titans.

Chhabra mentions the primary objective of this campaign was to connect with a larger consumer base and engage with the younger audience, particularly the age group between 20-25, the media plan has been outlined to meet this objective. The campaign would last till the end of IPL and is also supported by the facilitation of point of sale at about 5000 stores.

He also mentions Titan happens to be a competitor, but the brand explored a way to use that, which led to Timex being the 'Choice Of The Titans'. The brand had a choice in selecting players to feature in the campaign, and with popular demand and remarkable performance, Tewatia, Gill, and Saha were preferred. He further elaborates the team's strong social media presence coming in handy, and collaborative posts accumulating a strong audience base.

The Social Media Strategy

Their social media strategy revolves around consistent and engaging content, including match updates, player snippets, behind-the-scenes, contests, and fan interactions. The social media blueprint entails an active presence on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, ensuring regular updates. Through creative and visually appealing posts that match the brand identity of both parties, the brand has successfully cultivated a dedicated follower base leading to increased brand visibility and engagement.

Chaturvedi reckons social media is a medium where you can build a story around a theme. "On TV or streaming platforms we launch the campaign, but on social media, we can launch a teaser, accumulate the audience, run contests, interact further, and build up the story. This can only happen on social media", he adds.

Discussing the collaborative follower base, he adds the team's handle is organically growing in terms of followers at a rapid pace, and tapping into the potential it holds is also a part of the strategy. The targeting options on this medium are also more specific as compared to mass media where the relevancy could be less and the spill is too much, and then there is the option for retargeting for higher suitability towards the right target audience.

The traditional mediums are where broader objective such as brand awareness is achieved, but social media is a platform where features can directly lead to the conversion phase. Though Chhabra mentions, the larger objective still remains to connect with a broad consumer base but the strategy also entails links and similar collaterals to operational web stores.

"We have been around for 165 years globally, and 35 years in India, so the awareness is there and we are not looking for instant gratification, the objective is not to instantly convert it into a sale but to improve brand perception and brand preference", he adds.

Concurring with the thought, Chaturvedi adds, although sales are not a primary objective, the partnership has also been engraved into the product collections, with a collaborative line of watches. "The collection will be celebrating our association with Gujarat Titans and we would also be launching a larger sports collection, so the association with IPL would also be incorporated into our products", he adds.

The Strike Rate

This extensive campaign has led to a high-performance strike rate, as Chhabra mentions the intended reach is 100 Mn unique viewers, with overall impressions reaching over a billion viewers. He concludes that there is ample of synergy in this partnership and both parties can capitalize on each other's following and players' outreach, since "Nothing unites India like cricket."

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