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Brands must avoid IPL ad fatigue

News, 03 June 2015

MUMBAI: Viewing figures for the recently ended India Premier League were up on the previous year but many brands risked viewer fatigue by failing to vary their creative and repeating the same message throughout.

"Repetition is valuable for ad effectiveness," stated Shankar Nath, svp at online wallet PayTM, as it ensures greater recall. "An ad that you do not recall cannot be effective; and the more you recall it, the more you have processed its message."

"At the same time," he added, "one has to be careful that there is no excessive repetition, leading to viewer fatigue."

Between the IPL and the ICC Cricket World Cup, Indian cricket fans were able to watch 109 games over three and a half months and many brands appeared to be in danger of falling into this trap, according to IndianTelevision.com.

Some "took monotony to another level" as they simply repeated the same ad, but others had devised an elaborate storyboard in order to give viewers something new to watch.

Direct to home (DTH) operator Tata Sky, for example, told a love story over 13 episodes, which also explained how the product worked, while telco Vodafone ran a series of short, memorable stories where its customers used their fast 3G network to bring a smile to someone's face.

"Most brands eventually end up having one communication strategy for a period and an event like the IPL because of various reasons like huge production cost and cost of airing the spots," noted Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Ogilvy & Mather executive creative director.

"So I think for most brands it becomes a matter of getting the time, effort and money into one communication and they tend to bombard it. For an avid viewer, who is watching all the matches, it is repetitive and also irritating to an extent."

But even within those constraints, he suggested advertisers should "bring in some amount of variation within the same communication just to sustain the interest of the viewers".

Data sourced from IndianTelevision.com; additional content by Warc staff