Q] As a brand that largely operates in the digital space, what made PhonePe decide to associate with a property like IPL on broadcast?
The focus of last year’s brand campaign was on building awareness around digital payments for both rural and urban audiences. A mass media platform such as TV offered us the perfect opportunity to do so as it is the medium with the largest reach in the country.
Q] Can you please elaborate on the brand and business benefits from your IPL association in terms of brand attributes, key image parameters, its impact on market share and transactions on your app, and overall brand awareness and recall?
The objective of the association was to create awareness about the benefits of digital payments and also about the use cases available on the PhonePe app. We wanted to introduce digital payments to a billion Indians and IPL was the perfect platform to do that.
Q] As the official co-presenting partner of IPL 2019, what were some of your key targets at the start of this association? As a company looking to make huge strides in the digital payments space, what are the kind of results the brand derived through this association?
The response to our brand campaign was great. We were able to create visibility and high brand recall for PhonePe across different user segments in the country.
THE MARKETER SCOREBOARD
Sameer Nigam founded PhonePe Private Limited in 2015 and serves as its CEO. Before launching PhonePe, Nigam was the Senior Vice President, Engineering and Vice President, Marketing at Flipkart. His Flipkart journey started in 2011 when the company acquired his previous startup, Mime360. Nigam was also formerly the Director, Product Management at Shopzilla Inc, where he built the company’s shopping search engine.
Q] How do you think IPL helps in creating a perception shift or a behavioral shift among key audiences? Has there been a similar shift for your brand?
Cricket is the most popular sport in India and Vivo IPL is the biggest sporting event of the year. The 2019 season was the 12th edition of the league and it continues to hold mass appeal across the length and breadth of the country. It is one of those few events that is watched by the entire family together, making it the most captive and engaged audience that maps perfectly the kind of consumers we were looking to connect with. As the official co-presenting sponsor for the TV broadcast of the league, we were able to create awareness about the benefits of digital payments as well as the PhonePe app. Our main objective of associating with a sporting league like this was to be able to take brand PhonePe to every single household across the country. We wanted to introduce digital payments to a billion Indians and with the Vivo IPL, we had the perfect platform to do that. Customer acquisition and brand recall among the target audience were a few of the metrics that we looked at while measuring the effectiveness of the association and the brand campaign.
Q] Give us some insight into the creative communication devised featuring Aamir Khan. Did it help in creating clutter breaking advertising on one of the largest marketing platforms, the IPL?
Aamir Khan is among the country’s biggest superstars today. He is a highly renowned actor, who is known for doing path-breaking work in his industry. In his personal capacity too, he has been instrumental in creating awareness about many important social issues in India. His name is synonymous with sincerity, hard work and dedication to his craft. These are values that are completely in sync with PhonePe’s ethos of trust, security and reliability. Therefore we felt that Aamir is the perfect brand ambassador for our company. As PhonePe’s brand ambassador, he helped in breaking the clutter and in creating a distinct identity for the brand.
Q] We have seen a greater frequency of PhonePe ads on sports versus other genres in recent times (such as news, movies, etc.) What was the rationale behind this shift in decisions on ad spends?
India continues to be a cricket-crazy nation, with multiple cricketing tournaments in the last year. We saw cricket as the perfect platform to gain visibility and reach.
“The IPL is one of those few events that is watched by the entire family together, making it the most captive and engaged audience that maps perfectly the kind of consumers we were looking to connect with. As the official co-presenting sponsor for the TV broadcast of the league (in 2019), we were able to create awareness about the benefits of digital payments as well as the PhonePe app.”
Q] Further to the above question, could you elaborate on the PhonePe super player and the purple day celebration that we saw during the IPL, which were directly linked to your brand colours and identity?
We had partnered with Star Sports during last year’s IPL to run a Purple Day which involved a one-day takeover of the Star Sports network to drive awareness about the use of the PhonePe app.
Q] In the last few years, IPL has become one of the biggest marketing platforms with multilingual feeds, live streaming on OTT platforms, and so on. How do you think these benefit marketers and how can they be leveraged?
These ensure that marketers today can reach customers across geographies with multilingual feeds and customised messaging.