Aurora Magazine

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World Cup ’23 and Brands: On a Winning Streak?

Have brands taken advantage of the ‘cricket season’ effectively?
Updated 03 Nov, 2023 04:51pm

Cricket fever is in full swing and brands, both homegrown and international, are hoping for a century out of it. Anyone associated with the world of marketing knows full well that Cricket season, much like Ramzan and Eid, is considered a “peak season.” Surprisingly, despite this, you hardly see many brands breaking away from tried and tested recipes for success.

Like previous years, many brands followed the same ‘friends get-togethers’ and ‘family get-togethers’ stencil, based on the insight that cricket season doesn’t hit like it does when you enjoy it with your loved ones.

From beverages to banks, let’s take a gander at how brands have made full use of this season, oh-so-high on emotion.

The stadium is set, the teams are suited up, emotions run high but wait – aik cup chai hojayey? Enter the three major players in the chai world i.e. Lipton, Tapal and Vital. Apart from Tapal’s signature ‘Aik aur cup chai’ – the tea giant forayed into influencer marketing with Fakhr-e-Alam recording a candid tea drinking challenge with big names like Waseem Akram, Moin Khan and Shoaib Malik in the scene. Wholesome and well-played Tapal.

Lipton, on the other hand, rolled out #StrongRaho which, one can assume, is killing two birds with one stone making the association between the strength of tea and Pakistani resilience during the cricket season.

Bank Alfalah is going all out from launching a co-working space earlier this year to offering amazing deals and discounts on gadgets through Alfa Mall. To honour the spirit of ICC, Bank Alfalah has added polls to their app’s home screen offering 1,000,000 Orbits to the winner. Being associated with the fintech for some time now, this seems like a smart idea to improve App ‘stickiness’ and increase visitor stay time to me, if only for a few days. The question here though is: Will this activity help them bring in new customers loyal enough to give them long-term value out of this campaign? Only time and team Alfalah can tell.

Pepsi rolled out ICC customised ‘Passion Edition’ cans with images of superstar players from the Pakistan team with their signatures. The cans come with a QR code that you can scan and possibly win a plethora of special edition prizes such as official jerseys and signed bats.

On the other hand, Foodpanda put PauPau at the front and centre in a World Cup-centric TVC. The TVC is supported by a number of deals and cashbacks on orders.

It is worth noting that both Standard Chartered Bank and HBL – considered quite the marketing giants in their own right – stayed hush at the time of writing with only a social media post or two on the World Cup. HBL’s affiliation with PSL has long been established in the average Pakistani’s mind and may be one of the reasons why the household name chose to stay under the radar for ICC World Cup ’23 promotions.

While the fervour of the aforementioned brands and others that are not in the list is commendable, one needs to wonder if the deals, discounts and special editions offered during the season bring in the brand love companies hope for.

For brands like Pepsi, celebrating ICC with passion is more of an expectation now. Pepsi has long established its association with the world of sports, mainly Cricket while Coke chased rhythm through Coke Studio.

For other brands, however, the cricket season is a good way to get more eyeballs on their TVCs and digital activities. Even if the eyeballs don’t lead to instant conversions and customer loyalty (I’m sure they do to some extent), such peak seasons do help in brand awareness as millions stay glued to their screens for hours at a stretch. While a five-seconder every time something breath-taking happens mid-match may not be a pleasant jump for the customer, the brands sure do get a good over out of it.

Taniya Hasan is a content marketer.