Mumbai: In a bid to increase online buzz surrounding their association with the tournament, innovation was the key word amongst brands and teams in this recently concluded IPL (Indian Premier League) season. Social media’s emergence as a key channel of brand communication continues unabated and the latest edition of IPL was no exception , indicates a report on social media marketing and ‘buzz’ by NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company. Samsung, Vodafone, Cadbury and Volkswagen lead the list of brands that generated the highest levels of buzz amongst consumer generated media such as blogs, boards and forums.
Campaigns create buzz for brands
Samsung mobile’s presence across technology related forums and blogs saw it leading the charts amongst online consumers. The consumer electronics company keenly promoted their freshly released IPL related apps and games on social media networks. Tournament sponsor Vodafone too used social media innovatively to promote its new 3G services. Both Cadbury’s and Volkswagen follow close behind with their advertising triggering online conversation and reinforcing their association with the event.
“This edition of the tournament seemed to define each brand’s social media strengths and positioning differently. Each of the prominent brands seemed to strengthen their franchise in different parts of the social media universe. While for some Facebook and Twitter were the mainstay, others saw greater traction on key blogs and forums that were more closely linked to where their core audiences reside. But they all put the brand at the centre of the online conversation fueling a strong connection between the brand and the consumer” said Adrian Terron, Vice President, Nielsen.
Each of the leading brand’s social presence was aided by multi-platform campaigns across social networking sites and digital media. Surprisingly no sports or fitness brands featured in the top ten.
Mumbai Indians lead
In this edition of the IPL, Mumbai Indians, in contrast to its standing within the tournament were the most discussed team followed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and champions Chennai Super Kings. The teams with the most buzz online were the ones that actively harnessed social media, running competitions, fostering a sense of community online. Even the two new franchises Kochi Tuskers and Pune Warriors garnered a fifth of social media mentions. “In comparison to the previous round, team franchises attracted a greater sense of community and the follower base for the team franchises has grown proportionately. This bodes well for merchandizing activity and brands that seek to align their attributes with the associations consumers are making with individual teams.” said Terron.
Gayle and Dhoni stand taller than their veteran peers
The players too were closely linked to their teams rather than brands as is evident from online conversations on social media sites. Amongst the players, Chris Gayle emerged as the most discussed player on online forums, while Indian skipper MS Dhoni appears to be flying high after India’s World Cup victory and came in a close second. Overall, Indian and International players share the list of players leading online discussions with Sachin and Sourav making the list. “The list of brand endorsers seemed to follow the same pattern as the World Cup with stand-out performances triggering buzz including those by Sachin and Sourav. However, when compared to the World Cup, brands did not necessarily manage to draw similar linkages between themselves and the players that endorse them this time around. ” said Terron.