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5 minutes read

If I Must Pick Just One, Will Choose TV Over Digital For Better Advertising Impact: BK Rao

In an exclusive conversation with Marketing Mind, BK Rao, Senior Category Head - Marketing at Parle Products, said that during last year's Indian Premier League (IPL), they only advertised on TV on Star Sports. But this year, during the ongoing IPL season, they have decided to also use the digital platform JioCinema because they simply want to reach their viewers wherever they are. Hence, they have chosen both TV and digital platforms for IPL this year.

| Published on May 8, 2024

If I Must Pick Just One, Will Choose TV Over Digital For Better Advertising Impact: BK Rao

Last year, Parle Products advertised solely on television during the Indian Premier League (IPL) season. However, this year, they chose to delve into digital advertising as well, so, shedding light on their decision to embrace the digital platform, BK Rao, Senior Category Head – Marketing, Parle Products, explained that their strategy is very straightforward as they aim to connect with their audience wherever they may be. Hence, Parle Products has expanded its presence to encompass both television and the digital sphere.

In 2023, Viacom18 bagged the digital rights for the IPL from 2023-2027, while Disney Star secured the television rights for the same five-year period.

In an exclusive conversation with Marketing Mind, Rao said, “Parle has been linked with the IPL since the league’s inception in 2008. We have associated with IPL for most of its editions, except for a couple. IPL is an impact property and it helps boost sales, which is why we keep being a part of it.”

Speaking about leveraging the digital medium as well for this year’s IPL season, Rao said, “Last year, we were only present on Star Sports (TV). But this year, we are advertising on both Star Sports and JioCinema (digital). Our approach is straightforward that wherever our viewers are, we want to be there too. That’s why we are now available on both the mediums.”

Furthermore, he emphasised that initially, in terms of ad spends, Parle Products mainly focused on buying spot ads for longer durations. However, over the past few years, they have transitioned into becoming sponsors, specifically associate sponsors during IPL.

He also touched upon Parle Product’s new campaign that has been rolled out during IPL 2024, which highlights its vast range of products. The campaign, titled ‘Naam Toh Suna Hoga,’ consisted of five short commercials, conceptualised by Fundamental, emphasising the idea that when it comes to quality, Parle is the answer. The campaign dropped on JioCinema and Star Sports.

Rao said, “IPL was happening coincidentally, but Parle’s ad campaign had a bigger goal. It aimed to show people that Parle makes and sells top-notch products of various kinds, which you can trust. We wanted to highlight certain qualities of our products. So, we saw the IPL as a good opportunity to promote our new TVC.”

He also mentioned that they haven’t consciously advertised on CTV (Connected TV) so far but are now focusing on the medium since it has gained popularity among masses.

“However, during the World Cup last year and currently during the IPL, we are present on CTV. We are considering this medium because more households are using CTVs to watch content nowadays. So, even though we haven’t thought much about CTV before, we are now starting to take a closer look at it because it’s becoming more popular,” he said.

Rao described why Parle Products has started giving more importance to the digital medium when it comes to IPL, saying, “Over the years, our association with the IPL has seen consistent success. Lately, digital platforms have gained momentum and the big change occurred between last year and this year compared to previous editions. Previously, Hotstar held the digital rights until 2023 when Viacom18 took over. This is their second year handling it. Earlier, Hotstar focused on increasing subscription revenue and only offered 5 minutes for free. But JioCinema made a significant shift by making IPL completely free. This change led to a surge in viewership, making IPL even more popular.”

He added that previously, there were constraints when IPL was on Hotstar as the content was paid and many folks weren’t ready to spend that much. But now, with JioCinema, it’s free and now people also have decent data bandwidth. That’s the main change, so now the brand is also giving importance to digital.

While describing which medium, among TV and digital, aligns better with Parle Products’ objectives, Rao said, “Currently, it’s really hard to decide which advertising medium is best for Parle Products’ goals. I’d go with both TV and digital, which is what we have also chosen this year in terms of IPL.”

“However, if I had to choose just one, I’d still stick with TV over digital. TV in India is still a predominantly established mode, it’s been around for a while and it’s widely watched. Plus, ads on TV have a better impact compared to a small phone screen. Also, in Indian households people often watch TV together, which means our ad can reach more people at once. On mobile, it’s usually just one person watching at a time. So, for all these reasons, TV is still our top choice,” he added.

Rao highlighted that when the Disney and Reliance Industries (RIL) merger would take place, it could go in two directions.

“First, after the merger, the broadcasters might raise prices, they might want to get more money from subscriptions and stuff. And if they increase prices beyond a certain point, advertisers might not want to stick around because it won’t make sense for them,” he added.

Rao also stated that the peak quarters for Parle Products in terms of advertising are the first, second, and third quarters. These are the most important times for them. Quarter four usually slows down a bit.

Discussing Parle’s influencer strategy, he mentioned that currently, they aren’t particularly adopting it. Instead, Parle relies heavily on word-of-mouth promotion. Generally, consumers speak positively about Parle, which leads to the spread of their brands, trials, and samples among audiences and this approach has been effective for them.

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