IPL uses mobile advertising to create a buzz

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IPL is using mobile advertising to spread awareness and inform and engage cricket lovers with the ongoing DLF IPL cricket series.

GroupM’s digital agency, Maxus Interaction, is handling the mobile marketing initiatives for the IPL. According to Vinod Thadani, regional mobile director, India and South Asia, GroupM, “The client briefed us to create a non-intrusive and disruptive campaign and we are using SMS marketing and caller ring back tones to promote IPL among people.”

The campaign is taking place in several phases. To begin with, a pre-launch SMS campaign was carried out from March 18 to April 16 in order to create awareness about the IPL and inform people about the tournament. The campaign was powered by the SMS 2.0 service from Affle, a UK based mobile media company.

Vinod Thadani
SMS 2.0 is a free service which converges messaging and advertisement in one application. It can be downloaded on GPRS enabled mobile phones. Similar to the default messaging service application, which comes loaded in mobile phones, SMS 2.0 also enables a user to send messages. The difference is that it shows a banner ad at the bottom of the screen while composing or reading a message and displays a full screen ad during the process of sending the message. Advertisements displayed through SMS 2.0 are interactive and based on the area of interest of a user, which he specifies while downloading the application.

Anuj Kumar, executive director, South Asia, Affle, says, “All SMS 2.0 users who are interested in cricket were shown IPL related ads, which are presented in the form of advertorials. For example, a banner advertorial related to cricket was displayed at the bottom of the screen when an SMS 2.0 user composed a message. During the process of sending the message, a detailed description of the advertorial comes up on the full screen. The user is allowed to click for options like read more, download ringtones and check live score.”

Kumar adds, “We served 16,36,902 impressions and received 35,939 entries as ringtone download click-through.”

Another phase of mobile advertising began on April 17 and will continue till the end of the series. In this phase, the IPL is using an SMS service called SMSgupshup.com from Webaroo Technologies to engage people with the IPL series.

SMSGupShup.com is a free group messaging service available on mobile and the Internet. It allows users to join any existing group or create their own group and send free messages to all the group members.

A community called DLF IPL has been created on SMSGupShup.com. Around 10,000 users have already joined the community. Members receive news alerts related to the IPL on their mobile phones and interact with each other by sending text messages to the group members. SMSGupShup.com also has cricket related pictures, which can be sent to others using the same service.

The IPL is offering its theme song as a caller ring back tone (CRBT), available as an optional service on the mobile portals of various operators such as Tata Indicom, Airtel, Vodafone and BPL Mobile. The CRBT is acting as a multiplier to the overall mobile advertising campaign.