Our objective for the Dream11 IPL campaign was to get engagement and reach for the brand.
Cricket is the second-most popular sport in the world. If this feels inaccurate, there are 2.5 billion people around the world who’d disagree.
90% of those cricket fans are Indians, for whom cricket was never a sport, always a religion.
And for these cricket-crazy characters, the biggest annual event of the year was the Indian Premier League – a domestic Indian cricket league featuring the best international cricketers in franchises from every part of the country, much like the NBA for the United States and the EPL for the United Kingdom.
Every year, the IPL is a festival that gives India two months of camaraderie, banter, debate, and scope for endless conversation. It is a celebration that brings communities together.
However, with the pandemic shifting the location of the tournament to the UAE, all of this was taken away, and understandably reduced to no more than watching the matches from the safety of one’s home.
While our functional objective was to garner engagement and reach, as title sponsors of IPL 2020, we took it upon ourselves to ensure that the fans’ IPL experience would not be compromised. Our strategy was to not just facilitate the conversations that India waits to have all year round, but enrich them.
So the question arose: what more could we give to an audience that’s cooped up at home, detached from their Gods, separately tuning in to an experience they so eagerly dove into every year together?
Through grassroots social media research and our prevailing understanding of cricket sub-cultures in India, we came up with the recipe for the answer.
Presenting the recipe for the perfect GIF campaign:
1. Take 300 ml of annual Indian cricket fever, bring to a boil.
2. Thaw the world’s best cricketers until they are candid, funny, and relatable.
3. Dice up the visuals to make them snackable and bite-sized.
4. Add all of the micro-moments in an IPL match you can find, 2 cups of everyday situations, and sprinkle a few utterly bizarre ones (to taste).
5. Clean the concurrent social media trends until only the most popular ones remain (Bottle Flip Challenge is an excellent choice). Add and reduce heat to a simmer.
6. Now comes the secret sauce – a healthy dollop of gully (street) cricket lingo, to rekindle an entire nation’s childhood memories.
7. Garnish with memes, to make it palatable for everyone,
and you’re done! This dish is best served organically on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter.
Thus was born the Dream11 IPL GIPHY channel – a public access repository of over 200 unique GIFs and stickers, usable by anyone with a mobile phone, an internet connection, and an emotion or a reaction that needs expressing!
Watch the video here http://bit.ly/Dream11BestUseOfGifs
We’ll let the numbers speak for us…
The Dream11 IPL GIPHY channel trended globally twice (woohoo!), racking over 620 million views in the span of 55 days (length of IPL 2020).
Before the campaign, Dream11 had a sum total of 180,000 Instagram followers. By the end of the campaign, the brand handle had garnered 100,000 new followers.
Through the hundreds of GIFs and stickers, we were able to give fans a second screen during the match that became the forum for their banter, as well as the joy of communicating how they feel via the likenesses of their favorite cricketing superstars.
This completed the immersive IPL experience that fans look forward to every year, one that they were able to share with their friends from the safety of their homes.
Dream11IPL emerged as the No. 1 google trend of 2020 in India, and No. 5 globally. So while the lockdown edition of the IPL forced fans to watch the matches apart, the Dream11 GIPHY channel ensured that they celebrated, lamented, and experienced every match’s emotions with each other, with the help of their biggest cricket idols.
The kicker? All of this was done with a sum total of 0 media spends! (*mic drop*)