#KFPrankLeague: Kingfisher’s Indian Prank League

Nothing like a good prank to lighten the feverish intensity of IPL matches

We all have our favourite teams when it comes to matches, and we’re extremely passionate about it too. The concentration with which we watch a match, and the excitement or the dismay we feel when our favourites score or take a hit is remarkable.

Kingfisher is known for their upbeat attitude and their IPL campaigns have often been loved by the masses. Last year, their #KingfisherMannequinChallenge went viral and their Dubsmash video starring cricketers was well-received. This year, Kingfisher presented their Indian Prank League. Paul Writer got talking with Samar Singh, CMO, United Breweries Limited to delve into the strategy behind their #KFPrankLeague campaign.

1. What are the brand characteristics that your association with IPL helps you bring out?

What we call them are brand health indicators (BHIs). Our association with IPL helps us drive the BHIs on youthfulness, sportiness, glamour, cool quotient and style. Those are really the BHIs that impact our business.

2. How has your customer response changed since the launch of your campaign ‘Divided By Teams, United By Kingfisher’? Did you expect it to go viral?

It was really done in a moment of serendipity. There was a mad rush for brands to become a central sponsor of IPL. However, we decided to do things differently. We decided not to sponsor IPL centrally but rather the teams that participated in IPL. The underlying idea was that no matter what team you support, you’re all united in your love for Kingfisher including the teams themselves. That’s how we came up with the line ‘Divided by Teams, United by Kingfisher’. We were hopeful that the line would be received well but I think the response has been beyond our expectation and has even gone into popular lexicon. We believed it would be appropriate for our messaging but the response was overwhelming and took us by surprise.

3. What tools do you use to keep up with trending marketing strategies?

When it comes to digital we have a very large social program. We’re the world’s #3 beer brand on Facebook. Heineken happens to be #1 which anyway is our partner. Between Heineken and Kingfisher, we have 95% of digital traffic in the beer space in the country. I believe we have one of the most advanced and robust digital programs in the market. We’re present on every social media platform. Our YouTube platform- Cheers generates content of our own. We recently won the second runner-up prize at the Los Angeles Web Fest (LAWEBFEST) for our film Rise from Ultra Shorts. We’ve done several other content creation and many of it has gotten both national and international recognition. Storytelling is a big part of our digital initiative. Close to 20% of our total budget goes to our digital marketing programs. So there’s a lot that’s happening on the digital front. In terms of measurement tools, we use all the conventional tools as well as reasonably advanced analytics. We do geotargeting, micro-moment marketing, and our program is as evolved as it can be in a consumer products world of today.

4. What do you hope to achieve with Kingfisher’s ‘Indian Pranks League’?

We aimed to stand out. We wanted to do something different that would be noticed. Last year, we did the #KingfisherMannequinChallenge where instead of getting the teams to do something, we got them to do nothing but stand still. This year we again decided to do something different and realized pranking is a very popular genre in the digital space between celebrities and friends and the masses. Besides, the cricketers love pranking each other. That’s what they do in the dining room, the changing room, the hotel rooms- all the time. All the teams and the players love it. The fact that we’re portraying them in a very Kingfisher way- young and cool, having fun and enjoying each other’s company is something we wanted to do. Naming it the Indian Prank League was a very tongue-in-cheek look at the Indian Premier League.

We’re getting traction, being on both digital and television. A lot of interest has been generated and even the teams and players are re-tweeting the pranks. At the end of the day, the teams are made of young boys who like to have fun and that is what Kingfisher is famous for.

5. In the future, do you plan on expanding into other branches of sports?

We’re already in every branch of sports. We’ve practically sponsored every game on the planet. From hockey to golf to horse-racing. The association of beer and sports is as old as beer itself. We engage in every sport possible.



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