Amazon’s IPL Activation Led By Its 1st Ever Indian TV Ads

The world’s largest online retailer Amazon is set to break its first ever TV campaign in India. And it has chosen the IPL to launch the high decibel campaign.


Amazon India has signed up as the official ‘on air associate sponsor’ for the IPL telecast on Sony Set Max for the 2014 season. It is reported to have invested between Rs 25 crore and Rs 30 crore for an associate sponsorship which brings 100 to 120 seconds airtime per match.


Following a national newspaper print and online strand of the campaign, with full page functional executions and digital banners launching in the weeks prior to the IPL, the playful TV work launched during the opening games of the tournament.


The creative features a couple sat on the sofa watching the IPL and having a friendly game-related betting-style conversation about which products each of them wants from Amazon.


The 30-second spots follows an enthusiastic husband fixed on getting a game console while his more calculating wife bets for bags, then shoes and then a diamond watch (she wins all the bets).


The voiceover closes the ad with “Over 1.5 crore products to choose from at Amazon.in.” and the aim is to illustrate the range of goods available on the platform to choose from.



In India, friendly bets between friends and family pertaining to competition is part of the nation’s cultural fabric.


The online retailer aims to use its IPL media sponsorship deal to ‘entice and delight’ its target customers across the country as they watch this year’s IPL with its ‘trusted online shopping experience’.


Amazon’s work is part of its increasingly aggressive campaign promoting its wide range portfolio of products and building its brand as trusted and reliable.


‘Our target customers around the country would be watching IPL with interest. We want to engage with this audience; hence, our association with IPL,’ says Amazon India’s head of integrated marketing Manish Kalra.


Despite this year’s IPL faing a number of new challenges – including competing with the election for attention, starting the games in  the UAE rather than in India, late scheduling, legal dispute and betting scandals – the MSM channels airing the cricket, Sony Max and Sony Six, increased the cost of on-air inventory by around 20% to 25%.


MSM points to the rise in IPL viewers between IPL 5’s 164 million and last year’s IPL 6’s 200 million as a reason for the rise.


Nevertheless, commercials partners do seem willing to play ball at the higher prices as the broadcaster signed up nine sponsors before the tournament began.


As well as tournament title partner Pepsi (see previous case study), plus the Amazon deal, MSM’s on-air sponsors for IPL 7 include presenting sponsors Karbonn Mobile and Vodafone,



plus fellow associate sponsors Havells,



Perfetti, Marico, TVS and Cadbury (see previous case study).




Amazon only entered the online commerce market in India in the summer of 2013 when it launched www.Amazon.in as a marketplace to principally facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers and take on outfits like Flipkart.


This strategic model enabled the US company to get around Indian regulatory barriers preventing foreign online retailers from setting up entirely-owned Indian stands of their business that sell directly within India.


While Amazon had previously run an Indian ad campaign in the country’s mainstream media for its Junglee.com online shopping comparison service, the IPL work marks its first www.Amazon.in TV work.


Despite being slightly overshadowed this year by India’s gargantuan general election, the IPL remains the country’s biggest property and cricket’s number one glob al event.


Choosing the IPL as the company’s debut TV platform seems certainly from a reach point of view as it is one of India’s most watched series.


The 2013 version the blockbuster T20 tournament was watched by a massive 215 million viewers – up from the previous year’s 164 million strong audience.


In India e-commerce business are now positioning themselves in the mainstream retailers – adopting expansion strategies based around using mass media platforms (like TV and radio) to establish themselves beyond just e-commerce and online businesses but to engage with offline consumers too.


The 2014 IPL also saw the first promotional campaign from the tournament’s online web streaming media partner StarSports (see previous case study).

2014 is not only the first year that e-commerce brands have shown such interest in the IPL, but this year’s tournament has also seen a marked increase in the number of FMCG sponsors signing up to the partner with the T20 tournament.


The fewer number of afternoon matches have helped attract FMCG advertisers and the open competitive nature of this year’s IPL are cited as two reasons for this trend.


Other categories and industries strongly associating themselves the IPL in 2014 include automotive, telecoms and mobile handsets, consumer electronics and drinks.


Amazon India Website



IPL 2014



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