Short Ads To Dominate This Cricket World Cup?

Brands embrace shorter ad formats to engage cricket viewers during Cricket World Cup 2023, prioritising consumer preferences and budget-friendly campaigns, redefining sports advertising dynamics

As the cricket season approaches and India hosts the Cricket World Cup after twelve years, brands are racing to position their ads in between the matches to garner the eye of the viewers.

Prioritising Consumer Preferences

Short ad formats have witnessed an enormous increase as they become the preferred choice for marketers to captivate the attention of viewers on both television and OTT platforms in the fast-paced world of cricket matches. Observing the evolving dynamics and a strategic shift in sports advertising, brands leverage connecting and resonating with their target audience in a mere span of 10 to 15 seconds.

Varun Kandhari, Director of Marketing and Customer Marketing at Mars Wrigley India believes, “As consumer attention spans continue to shrink, brands need to deliver unique and engaging content tailored to evolving consumer preferences. Especially during the cricket season when digital consumption on OTT and mobile phones is at its peak, our approach is to seamlessly blend in-between match moments and create lasting brand resonance.” 

He further shared, “With our latest Snicker ‘Noobie Mistakes’ campaign, the digital films aim to connect with Gen-Z and millennials by taking a fun twist on real-life hilarious blunders fostering brand affinity and reliability. Set to roll out in the second phase, the additional 10-sec films are designed with the intent of landing the concept of ‘Noobie Mistakes & Snickers to the rescue’ in a short format content catering to the mobile-first approach of today’s audience. For OTT platforms, we will leverage the 15-sec TVC to efficiently further the brand’s messaging.”

Consumers today resonate with concise and impactful storytelling and brands have recognised exhibiting powerful storytelling in a limited time frame. Marketers and advertisers employ creative techniques that often involve humour, emotional triggers, or catchy jingles to make the moments in between count. Leveraging the potential of storytelling, brands aim to leave a lasting impression on viewers despite the brevity of their advertisements.

Economical Budget Campaigns

In the context of budget convenience, shorter ad edits and formats appear to be more economical than longer ones. The cost per impression (CPM) for short commercials can be significantly lower, making them a viable choice for brands with budget constraints. Additionally, short video ads during cricket tournaments receive massive popularity and effectiveness for reaching a larger and more engaged audience.

Ashish Mishra, Executive Vice President of Marketing at ACKO states, “Airing a 30 sec or a 60 sec commercial in the Cricket World Cup is equivalent to spending top dollars in Super Bowl. Hence, it's naturally prudent to go with shorter edits. This ensures higher frequency and thus more Opportunity To See (OTS).”

A Game Changer for Sports Advertising?

Savvy marketers seek quick, attention-grabbing commercials to make an impression on viewers to expand their customer base in a period of shorter attention span and increasing mobile consumption. Short video ads may also have long-term effects on cricket tournaments and the sports industry, redefining the creative landscape.

Aditya Malhotra, Head of Growth, Deciml commented, “Sporting events like the CWC 2023 is a high-visibility event that attracts viewership across audience segments. Short-form video comes to your aid in a matter of seconds, build intrigue for your brand and keep it to that. In the long run, if you can crack the code of aiming for high reach through short, impactful messaging, you will not only build high brand recall and reach, but also not annoy the viewer with a long break to why they're tuned in in the first place.”

Furthermore, short video advertising allows opportunities for brands of all sizes to participate in major sporting events like the CWC without the need for exorbitant budgets. This could lead to increased competition, fostering creativity and innovation in the industry.

On the contrary, Piali Dasgupta, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Columbia Pacific Communities underlined, “The long-term implication of short videos on the sports industry and advertising in general is a loss of storytelling. One may argue that a great story can even be told in ten seconds or less, but some of the greatest ad films in India and globally, have been long-form video ads. Moreover, trying to squeeze a good story into a 10-second slot, in many cases, kills creativity, reduces impact, and makes most ads seem like a product offer targeted at sales and may not serve top-of-the-funnel objectives and result in memorable communication for all brands. This is particularly pertinent for start-up and first-time advertisers, who try to build awareness of their product or brand by buying slots in big-ticket events such as Cricket World Cup.”

Challenges to Overcome

Nonetheless, using short ads during the Cricket World Cup has its own challenges. Primarily, crafting a compelling narrative and message within the strict time constraints to engage with the viewers effectively can be a major challenge brands might face. Adding to it, the cluttered advertising scenario during such tournaments can also be challenging in order to showcase creativity and relevance in a short span of time.

When challenges in advertising come into play, Mishra stresses, “Narrating a full story in 10-15 seconds requires tremendous skill. I, however, believe that strong creative agencies and smart marketers will always find a way to get it right. I suggest that ‘less is more’. Keep it simple and don’t try to squeeze in a lot of information and you should definitely end up with a great 15-seconder.”