The cricketing app Cricbuzz promoted itself on social media with a custom-made rap video.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament, the pinnacle of 20/20 short form cricket in India, was to be resuming after months of delays due to the pandemic. Cricbuzz, one of the leading cricket news and entertainment apps in India, had to kickstart the craze for cricket in a country that had gone without live televised sports for almost half a year.
Cricbuzz sought to bring back traffic to its app and ensure new app downloads. This was made more challenging by the recent launch of legalized sports betting apps, which were stealing the traditional Cricbuzz audience.
The campaign's objective was to dominate conversations around cricket before the season began. This had to be done without utilizing any IPL assets (such as photos and videos) because Cricbuzz was not an official sponsor of the tournament.
Cricbuzz's target audience was primarily in the age group of 25 to 35, from tier I and II cities. This target included all genders and people of all income groups.
The audience, largely generation Z and millennial cricket fans who viewed Cricbuzz as a "true cricket lovers" app, were the prime targets for this campaign.
The rise of the underground rap movement in India has given its youth new independent artists who regularly garner millions views per video. This music is home-grown, sung in native languages, and exudes the energy that one would get from a high-octane 20/20 cricket match.
The intersection of music and sports (especially cricket) is evident in all forms of Indian pop culture and social media content. Indians love music and they worship cricket. The IPL format lends itself well to the inclusion of music during the live telecast. Rap was the perfect genre to combine the feel of a street cricket match with the scale of a national tournament featuring Indian and international cricket players.
The approach was to craft a campaign that celebrated fans' love for cricket rather than star power. Twitter was strategically chosen as it's the preferred second screen for many sports fans, both for following matches and for engagement.
Indians love music and they worship cricket. The native rap music scene has witnessed tremendous growth both in terms of acceptance into the mainstream Bollywood media and crossovers from sports personalities and celebrities. These facts helped inspire Cricbuzz's campaign.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The campaign began with a rap song titled "#AbCricketBuzzega" (in English, "Now Cricket Will be Buzzing") on Twitter, with an accompanying video. It was followed by a multi-prong execution strategy built around the viral track.
Cricbuzz also employed an Instagram Reels Challenge. In fact, the company was India's first sports brand to use Instagram Reels. A danceable hook step was created to match the rap video track and was amplified through popular Instagram personalities.
Cricbuzz then created a series of four rap videos to follow up the first one. These videos helped the brand to drive engagement on Twitter and Instagram around contextually relevant cricketing moments and cricket team moments.
Finally, Cricbuzz booked the Twitter Hashtag promotion slot for the Finals. This gave the brand the opportunity to finish the IPL tournament on a high and ensured that it captured most of the conversations that happened around the finals using its branded hashtag without people realizing it.
Cricbuzz's AR Filter on Instagram was a mobile specific activity. The brand's "Hit Corona Out of the Park" Instagram AR filter gave people a chance to take revenge on the virus. The filter placed a mask (with changeable colors) on the face of a ball shaped like the virus. Users could blink to select their favorite team and nod to hit the corona ball out of the park. The filter also had the brand's rap song playing in the background to improve recall.
Cricbuzz's rap video yielded impressive results, including:
The campaign's performance on Twitter also yielded impressive results:
The brand's effort on Instagram Reels was similarly effective, producing:
Finally, Cricbuzz's AR filter: