Upstox: Demystifying Stock Trading through Cricket


Campaign Summary

Upstox created the Upstox Cric Index to compel cricket fans to participate in the stock market.



Only four people out of 100 in India invest in stock markets per National Stock Exchange (NSE). But surprisingly, around 10.7 million new demat accounts (for trading) were opened in the Covid-marred year, nearly 200 percent more than the average trend in the preceding three years.

Stocks intrigued people, but they feared losing their hard-earned money due to lack of knowledge and confidence. Upstox campaign aimed to promote the Upstox app by addressing the fact that sometimes it's all about just taking the first step as things are usually easier than expected. The brand needed to demonstrate that with Upstox, stock trading is very easy. Additional objectives for Upstox's campaign included:

  • Driving app downloads
  • Driving brand awareness and consideration
  • Building a sustainable property that can be used consistently to drive the brand's proposition of "simplicity."

Target Audience:

Upstox's core target comprised of males 25-40 years old, living in metros and tier one and two towns. Their investment was restricted to simple tools like FDs and gold.

Creative Strategy:

Cricket sat at the intersection of Upstox audience and stock trading. While 4 percent invest in stock markets, 90 percent watch cricket. Cricket was also the perfect analogy of data and trading, especially with the newfound love of cricket leagues. The brand partnered with the Indian Premier League 2021(IPL), the superbowl of India, to launch the Upstox Cric Index (UCI).

The UCI campaign took a 360 degree approach to reaching cricketing audiences. Upstox deployed an integrated platform approach leveraging television, digital, branded content, OTT, in-stadia, on ground experiences, and brand/category advocacy.


The opportunity for Upstox was that competition was yet to leverage cricket as a large consideration and engagement building platform. Competition had been using financial-influencers and business-properties on TV to convey their proposition, sticking to the safe route of leveraging a small cohort of users already into investing.

The brand built a first-of-its-kind initiative in the online stock trading category when it came to combining cricket and the product with a tech and mobile first approach, which reached out to its target in a 360 manner across sports, business and other content spaces.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Upstox took a mobile first approach creating content and display advertising for its mobile-first audience. The partnership of cricket and stock trading, two of the most widely consumed content types on mobile, was turned into an engaging platform called the "Upstox Cric Index", a first of its kind stock market index.

Upstox built content around business portals serving existing customers and then extended it to cricket portals, OTT, social, in-stadia and popular hangout joints where audiences interested in cricket and investing could engage with UCI.

$15 Million USD was the overall campaign budget of which 40 percent of the costs ($6 Million USD) were allocated to mobile due to the media consumption habits of the brand's target audience.

Mobile Execution:

UCI gave a rating to each cricketer out of 10 taken after evaluating him on over 60 parameters like runs, scores, bowling efficiency, consistency, historic trends, etc., just like the stock market.

The result was a real-time UCI ticker, which is also an iconic visual mnemonic of the stock market. The only difference, UCI treated players like stocks.

Campaign Execution:

UCI was deployed with an integrated platform approach encompassing television, digital, OTT, in-stadia, on ground experiences and brand/category advocacy. The execution included:

  1. The Upstox Cric Index ticker: A real-time stock market inspired ticker for UCI which replaced conventional tickers on India's leading cricket and finance platforms.
  2. The ticker became the unofficial rating system for IPL: Led by top cricket presenters, the UCI was activated before live matches and time-outs, and helped people understand the match performance in relation to the ups and downs of the player on the index on official cricket broadcasters including Star Sports (TV), and Disney+Hotstar (OTT).
  3. Bespoke content on Cricbuzz featuring Harsha Bhogle: Weekly content analyzing player performances and prediction using the ups and downs on UCI. The videos were presented by Harsha Bhogle and featured another cricket expert discussing UCI in depth.
  4. Driving advocacy via UCI leaderboards: UCI ranking leaderboards inspired cricketing advocates to create exclusive content pieces on top cricketing sites including Cricbuzz and ESPN Cricinfo for their programming content.
  5. Pop culture activation: Live integration of UCI ticker across Bar Stock Exchange, a watering hole chain.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)


  • Share market users: 25 million
  • Upstox user base: 1 million
  • Spontaneous awareness of Upstox: 10-15 percent


  • While the industry grew by 2.5 times Upstox grew by seven times
  • Share of market users grew to 60 million
  • Upstox's user base grew to 7 million
  • Spontaneous awareness grew to 46 percent
  • A 4.7 increase in search query
  • Over 1.3 billion impressions across OTT and cricketing portals
  • Over 74 million video views
  • 50 million people reached

Market Impact:

People investing in the Share Market grew from 25 million to 60 million.

The UCI formed part of the entire ecosystem of the IPL in 2021.

  • It became the "unofficial rating system" for the IPL.
  • Users started engaging with UCI to learn about the stock market using the analogy of cricket.
  • The ticker became the unofficial ranking and information platform for fantasy gamers.
  • Post math analysis was now being done by cricket experts using the UCI.
  • International cricketing legends like Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar, Dale Steyn, Simon Doull, Shaun Pollock, Lisa Sthalekar used UCI for making predictions, suggestions and analysis.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Cross Platform — All Media | Awards: X Global Silver Winner