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Think BR: Ignoring ethnic marketing just isn't cricket

The use of ethnic media to upweight mainstream campaigns has increased over the last two years across all major advertising sectors, says Murly Tiwari, director of Indoor Media.

Tiwari: 'Ignoring ethnic marketing just isn't cricket'

Tiwari: 'Ignoring ethnic marketing just isn't cricket'

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The recent spat in the Indian courts which saw Google’s YouTube divested of the UK online rights to this year’s IPL cricket league in favour of Times of India passed pretty unnoticed in the UK. After all, wasn’t this just another case of corruption being brought to book – well yes, but it also says something to UK marketers.

The very fact that these rights were being fought over tells you that these rights were worth having. A quick look back at last year’s audience figures tells you why. IPL viewing in the UK far outweighed viewership of domestic cricket.

So in other words cricket lovers, and one assumes mostly of an Asian and Caribbean persuasion, tuned into the IPL rather than the more sedate fare on offer from the English county scene.

Once again ethnic audiences in the UK had demonstrated that they do behave in ways that underline their racial identity while also tuning in, like the rest of us, to more mainstream fare.

Times of India is represented in this country by Indoor Media (IML), which itself is owned by the giant Komli Group, the third largest online network in India, now growing fast internationally with offices in Australia, America, Canada and Singapore.

IML’s online network reaches just over three million unique users in the UK and includes a substantial percentage of the South Asian, black African/Caribbean, eastern European and Chinese communities..

We’ve seen increased spending among major blue chip brands such as Barclays, Mercedes, Emirates, 02 and Tesco," commented IML’s Director Murly Tiwari.

As if to mirror these developments nearly all the major agencies boast an ethnic media unit from Omnicom’s prosaically named Ethnic Media Group, through Mediacom’s trendy CultureCom and Universal McCann’s austere-sounding Diversity Unit, to WPP’s exotic Ogilvy Noor.

In the past two months alone, IML has booked campaigns from a host of blue chip advertisers including IG Markets, O2, Vodafone, MoneyGram and Mercedes. Nor do IML envisage a problem selling IPL sponsorship rights in time for the start of the IPL league on 8 April, despite the selling timescale being contracted by the Indian courtroom drama.

They also expect that the 2011 Census results published later this year will reinforce the growth of the UK’s ethnic communities and underline the need to target these communities in a specialised media environment, as well as through mainstream media.

Increasingly for many brands, ignoring ethnic media outlets just isn’t cricket.

Murly Tiwari, director of Indoor Media

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