Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Bermuda Triangle !!!!




Endless cricket, like endless anything else, simply grinds you down.

.......Ted Dexter

So ......

Team India have won.... creating history of sorts ..... trouncing and thrashing a poor, hapless, hopeless and SHAPELESS (pun intended..) Bermuda (By God ...How many did know that there is a country by that name ...?) So what ? a win is a win even if it was heavily one sided .... especially after the bad day, when another little known team ,whom every one dismissed as amateurs routed the tigers, who made us stoop and perform an all time low in the port of pain... reminding one of the David and Goliath tale...almost to be kicked out of the ICC world cup melodrama...
Cricket .... given so much of Importance and cricketers hyped so much to the level of GODs only to be dragged on the streets when they fail to perform, to be worn garlands of wornout chappals and their houses attacked and effigies burned to compensate for the sleepless nights these crowds spend on airports to catch a glimpse of the Team in Blue departing to bring back the coveted Trophy.... Is this fair??? Let the nation debate it out while we can discuss the implications of the whole show as far as the Advertising industry is concerned....

The Advertising Industry in this Cricket crazy nation seems to have stopped thinking anything other than cricket.... The four giants- Hutch ,Hero honda, Pepsi and LG ofcourse did almost empty their coffers for being part of the hoopla but others too werent left behind, This inspite of the tough codes that the ICC have laid out this time for keeping the ambuish marketers under leash...and some seem to be giving sleep less nights to the official guys seemingly overtaking them in brand recall studies conducted after the matches.....The Media on the other hand glorified the men in blue all the way to heaven only to drop them dead the moment they failed....like for instance The Indian Express said: "Bangladesh grabbed India by the collar, poked a finger in the eyes of some of the world's best batsmen, tore up the elaborate blueprint prepared by coach Greg Chappell and punched an embarrassing dent on the face of the world's richest cricketing outfit..........

Should India come back sooner than we want them to be....The money that the official sponsors have pumped in would all be gone ..simply dissappeared....Billion Indiana will have to move on with their daily lives hardly watching TV or reading newspapers except , the frantic and fanatic hardcore cricketlovers...... Sponsors and Advertisers will not get mileage from their marketing budget spending, which will ( some have already hinted at the chances of a RETHINKING!!!...the LG Guy went on TV yesterday night to declare that NEXT TIME we are not game for the game...) make them divert their advertising monies elsewhere....The overall loss to them predictabily is going to be huge but above all ICC certainly will be the biggest loser. Next World Cup (2011) would hardly get them the sponsorship monies and will pass on as an event sans charisma and aura unlikely for cricket... Very dismal a picture I am sure but why an Indian loss makes it so heavy a loss for ICC.....simply because India is the BIGGEST cricketing nation which contibutes the bulk of advertising and sponsorship revenues that the ICC takes home and hence the loss and subsequent exit of India from the series will make people switch off and go to bed on time rather than get glued to matches played by Islands and principalities who are unheard off and at times where you should be in bed in deep slumber......

The Media planners are already in panic..inspite of all the logic that justifies the Indian advertisers/mediaplanners dependence on the game...as is well known, timings of the matches are a problem ..... Last time’s World Cup was a breeze... all the matches fell in the prime time band. This time, while the first innings of the match will coincide with the Indian prime time, the second innings will go up till three in the morning. Smart ad-scheduling could resolve these matters. Unlike last time’s World Cup, scheduling would require a bit of imagination on part of media planners. All matches in the World Cup 2003 were played during prime time, so marketers advertised during the first 15 overs of the match and the last 15 overs. This time advertisers are buying slots in the first and the last 15 overs of the first innings...that explains the poor TRP thanks to the time gap and the ODD times most of the matches are being played.......especially the second halves which if one is awake to enjoy, predictabily will have to doze off in the class room or the office the next day... so from the 20 or so TRP s of last times, now the max is 6 and 7 and that too is going to be dropping down should India bow out of the whole mess. Compared to the last ICC world cup this time clearly things are against the India media planner......
I call it a Bermuda traingle because the dynamics is quite complicated ........... Srilanka...Bangladesh...Bermuda...India...Each ones Loss and victory seems to be Important..their margin of Loss and Victory is important..their Run rates are Important...not only for the average Indian fan on the street who will do pooja on Mahendra singh Dhoni's photograph one day and burn his house the next, but also for the whole business of Advertising, in India for sure and even abroad .....

The premium that the advertisers have shelled out ,in hope of the dedicated eyeballs that they seem to have ensured ,again seems to have been all erronous.... 3.5 to 4 Lakhs is what an avarage advertiser had to spend for a 10 second slot when India plays and 1.5 to 2 for non India matches, in one of the highest ever paid ransoms.... Not to speak of the 4 main guys..... Pepsi will cope up... so may LG and its new TIME MACHINE TV (In fact, the odd hours of matches has turned into an opportunity for LG to introduce its Time Machine feature in its range of LCD and Plasma TVs)....and so will Hutch but Im not sure about the HeroHonda gamble....Never ,whether India still makes it till the quarter finals or not, is it going to be that easy to make the advertiser jump into the field with his money bag, the moment some says CRICKET....

This will affect every one .....

Even the BCCI whose coffers are full, thanks to the endorsements and advertising money....

The cricketers who are there selling almost everything from Airlines to anti depression drugs and Banks to bathroom cleaners.( just see the latest Nike Ad and then compare and contrast it with the Anchor ad..)..

The media houses who normally keeps 5-10 percent of the inventory UNSOLD (out of greed one may accuse) to be sold when the chances are bright ,later......

The lazy Indian creative who hides behind the comforts of the glued fan and the magic of audience captivity... and hence "anything chalega" attitude....
The not so shrewd media planner whose job as of now is over if he can make sure that he has procured some good inventory in cricket slots(this is ,inspite of the knowledge which he always had about how crazy it is to depend on cricket alone)..........

My love for the industry makes me hopeful still.... the Indian advertiser will wake up to this chance to get out of this cricket hangover...let Dravid and the blue boys fight it out and bring back the cup and make us proud OR let God forbid, let them loose and come back, into the wrath and fury that will unleash for sure... but the Advertiser and the agency will have to slowly get out of this Bermuda triangle, where all the money gets locked in a gamble which promises nothing, not even mere survival !!!!

What's happened has happened, so what can we do to make it better for tomorrow and the day after? That's why we're here...........
Ian Botham

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice...tho' the smarts media planners donts the panics :)

anthara sharma said...

nice observations here !!! amazing insights. keep going !!!

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha so you r back with a bang!!!

Marc stevenson said...

ya well said there...smart media planners do not panic.but the big question is ...How many of them are smart?

Bingo!!!

Nathalie Carr said...

Its amazing to know that the colonial past that we left over is still continuing strong in India. The cricket obsession is here to remain no matter how many coaches are poisoned and killed, no matter how many times the whole GAME played by bookies in agreement with the so called players are played and caught.Advertising is a lazy industry, most of them are paid for nothing, simply for glories of the past.

Anonymous said...

what nonsense..paid what? indian advertising pay peanuts and for that they get monkey work...

Anonymous said...

all the criceters should be sent to the army and put their for three years, chappel be put in jail and the advertisers agencies etc could be let free...they will never change.....

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