NEW DELHI: The final of the ICC Cricket World Cup isn't for another two weeks but broadcasters and brands are already gearing up for the start of the India Premier League, with sponsor Pepsi inviting consumers to create their own ads to be shown during the tournament.
Taking co-creation to a new level with "Crash the Pepsi IPL", the soft drinks brand is aiming to show six new consumer-generated advertisements every weekend throughout the IPL season, according to Ruchira Jaitly, senior director, social beverages, at PepsiCo India.
"It is a risk," she admitted to the Business Standard, but it is all about the consumers". As well as the kudos of having their ad shown, finalists will get a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh and VIP access during the tournament.
The campaign also forms the Indian leg of a wider global campaign, the Pepsi Challenge – an idea that dates back to the early 1970s when blind taste tests differentiated the brand from Coca-Cola – which will ask consumers each month to take on various global and local challenges that combine pop culture with social good.
"We've taken the DNA of the Pepsi Challenge, then reinterpreted it for a new generation," Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo's Global Beverages Group, told the New York Times.
"Now more than ever, we are in a world where consumers expect to hear from the brands they love in whole different ways."
Back at the IPL, Multi Screen Media (MSM), the broadcasting partner for the tournament, reported it had almost filled up its advertising inventory, with Amazon and Vodafone as the presenting sponsors.
"We have also had some big spot buy deals with Snapdeal.com and Carwale.com which are on similar sponsorship levels too," said Rohit Gupta, president, MSM.
"They have brought 100-120 seconds (ad spots per match) each," he told Exchange4Media. "Now we have already closed around 65-70% of the inventory".
He added that ad rates would be increased once those figures hit 80/85%.
Data sourced from Business Standard, Exchange4Media, New York Times; additional content by Warc staff