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Brands rule at IIT-Bombay fest

Sunday, 23 December 2007 - 3:32am IST

Mood Indigo, the annual festival of IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Bombay is treading unexplored territory. Their sponsorship figures have scaled high peaks.

The college festival is no longer only about showcasing student talent. It is also a display window for brands. Gautam Sheth finds out why Mood-I  is getting commercial

MUMBAI: Mood Indigo, the annual festival of IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Bombay is treading unexplored territory. Their sponsorship figures have scaled high peaks.

Money-media: Deadly duo
Marketers and brand managers rate the money-media combination as almost invincible. Amar Shobhani, visual merchandising manager, EDD Microsoft, says, “Mood-Indigo is organised on a very large scale and the returns are huge.” Abhishek Mittal, core member of the marketing and media team, Mood-I, asserts that the festival is Asia’s largest college fest which explains the high tag for corporate sponsorship of more than Rs1 crore.

National media coverage worth Rs95 lakhs is the icing on the cake. Harish Bijoor, CEO, Bijoor consultants says, “Apart from students attending, media coverage helps showcase brands.” Mood-I is associated with 11 media and outdoor partners, by far the highest for any college event in Mumbai.

Catch them young
Nipun Katyal, a member of the marketing and media team of Mood-I says “We have four live concerts, hot air balloon rides, professional plays, fashion shows, etc. all this, absolutely free of cost. This justifies the huge sponsorship.” Bijoor feels, “Youngsters on the campus are at a reasonably impressionable age. Catch them young is certainly the slogan for sponsors.”

Old boy syndrome
When they graduate, IIT students are hired by top notch corporates. IIT alumni is always willing to chip in to help the festival get bigger. Bijoor feels that the alma mater influence plays a big role. “There is a benign contribution angle here as well,” says Bijoor. Shobhani echoes this view saying the IIT’s marketing model also works on the reference sponsorship model.

Ground for future leaders
Isaac Jacob, marketing consultant, says, “The association through sponsorship is  an image-building exercise. The  projects IITians work on are of great value to technology-driven companies. “Why would a UK based telecom giant like Vodafone invest so much in these festivals? They do not need brand exposure, but for a fact that Indian tech minds are far superior to their western counterparts,” says Jacob.

Old is no more gold
Advertisements/brands always look for new ways of connecting with their target group. With the younger lot, traditional advertising is showing its vulnerable side. “The remote control has spelled disaster for TV advertisers. The blind spot to traditional advertising is increasing,” says Owen Roncon, partner Oranjuice entertainment. Jacob agrees,”Print ads take at least 3 - 4 insertions for better recall.”

Activation is the key
Adver-gaming is the new buzz word. “It is an innovative way of experiential marketing. The brand is woven in the game to engage the target audience on the basis of inter-activity,” exults Jacob. Roncon says,”A well constructed event serves as at least 3 hours or more brand commercial to an audience who has willingly come to be a part of the brand experience.”

The extravagant sponsors are no big deal. “Everyone who comes to Mood-I takes home something, be it a wristwatch, I-pod, caps, t-shirts, a bike, laptop, trips to Goa, etc…, Katyal says.


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