1. Together we stand
Campaign: Unite Cricket Anthem
Company: Micromax Informatics
Agency: Sony Music
The Campaign: After launching the ‘Roobaroo Micromax Unite Anthem’ last year, handset maker Micromax is back in action with yet another anthem this year. Taking the concept of Micromax Unite series forward, this time it is riding the Cricket World Cup fever. For its anthem, Micromax has recreated the popular Hindi song, ‘Chale Chalo’, from the movie Lagaan, providing a more modern touch to the song that suits the mood of the people of a cricket loving nation. The anthem features nine singers singing in nine languages—Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujrati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Assamese.
Our Take An anthem needs to be inspiring enough for people to sing it. The Micromax ‘Chale Chalo’ anthem not only is a modern rendition of the classic song from the movie Lagaan, it also scores when it comes to invoking the spirit of nationalism. Sung by young singers, the peppy tune makes you want to hum along. Even the visuals are well-crafted and support the theme of the anthem which focuses on India the defending champion. For once, it is not about the brand but rather the game. Micromax’s decision to go for an anthem rather than coming out with a regular television commercial is a smart one as this way the brand gets to stand out in the clutter. This way the company kills two birds with one stone. Not only does the brand Micromax get its share of limelight, it is also able to establish a very rich relationship with the game of cricket.
2. Loyalty programme
Campaign: The best a fan can get
Agency: Grey India
The Ad: This is the story of Mangesh Ganpath Rao Kadam, an ardent fan of cricket, told in his own words. Despite losing his vision as a child while playing cricket, he has followed the game passionately. He says that he has seen every high and low of the game through the eyes of his son Suresh. He goes onto say that over the years the Indian team has grown and so has his son who is all set to start his very own innings in life with a new partner. He then says that perhaps it’s time for him to retire as well and switches off the TV. To his surprise, someone else switches the TV on and begins to narrate the action on the pitch ball by ball. He realises that the man is none other than former batsman Rahul Dravid. Dravid salutes him for the passion he has for the game and seeks his permission to watch the World Cup tournament along with him. The film ends with a message, “The colours of Indian pride, now in a razor. Gillette salutes the fan in you.”
Our Take: For a utility brand such as Gillette, an ad film usually highlights the various features of the product. But Gillette India breaks the norm with its campaign for this year’s World Cup. One of the best campaigns so far, the brand and its agency Grey successfully brings out the passionate Indian who is ready to do anything for his game. Needless to say, there are many who share the protagonist Kadam’s passion for the game. For a cricket crazy nation, the ad is not only a trip down memory lane for the fans, it also showcases the strong bond this game has had for decades with people. The ad film through the protagonist also showcases the journey of the Indian cricket team and legends it has produced. The ad works because Gillette finds a purpose in the life of its consumers as a brand without being at the forefront of everything.
3. Target practice
Campaign: Cricket ka keeda to hoga hi, jab ho Cricbuzz ka mobile app
Company: Times Internet
The Campaign: Online cricket based content platform Cricbuzz has launched three ad films to promote its mobile app. All three campaigns highlight the passion we Indians have for the game. One of the campaigns starts with a man standing at the doorstep of his flat. He enters his flat completely engrossed in his mobile phone, carrying a packet of milk in his other hand. As his wife asks him for the milk, the man, lost in trying out a new bowling technique, hurls the ball, oops, milk packet at her. The next shot shows the wife drenched in milk. As the wife glares at him, he apologetically says, “It was a bouncer, you should have ducked it”. The ad ends with a voice-over saying, “Cricket ka keeda to hoga hi, jab ho Cricbuzz ka mobile app”.
Our Take: It is the season of cricket and perhaps the best time for a digital content platform which specialises in cricket to showcase its prowess. This particular campaign talks about Indians’ love for the game of cricket in a humourous way thus breaking the clutter. What’s more, the ad film does not start and end with the product. Rather, the product comes in the end and its features are subtly promoted through the story. Both the actors have played their part to perfection, especially the male actor playing the absent-minded husband. What’s even more interesting is that instead of telling a long winding story, each ad is short and crisp and able to drive the point home without too many frills.
4. Sticky spot
Campaign: Cement ka tonic
Brand: Dr. Fixit
Company: Pidilite Industries
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
The Campaign: Set in a village, the ad films opens on a dacoit threatening a villager at gunpoint. While the rest of the villagers look scared and are crying for help, the dacoit asks the villager who had informed the police. Just as he is about to shoot him, comes a voice from the back saying “Main batata hoon” (Let me tell you). A young man is then seen standing. He looks around and starts singing, “Agar diwaaron ko silan aur daraaron se hai bachana, toh ghar banate samay… please cement mein Dr.Fixit ka LW-plus milana.” The ad film ends with villagers dancing to the song. The man who was being held at gunpoint earlier also joins in and forces the bandit too to take part in it.
Our Take: After releasing a campaign for Fevikwik during the India versus Pakistan match that highlighted the rivalry between the two sides in a humorous manner, Pidilite is back with a new campaign. Released during the India versus South Africa match for its brand Dr.Fixit, while the campaign has nothing do with the game of cricket, it does manages to entertain the viewers with a quirky story. For a cricket loving nation the World Cup is the platform for advertisers to connect with the Indian consumers living in the deepest parts of the country. So you would definitely expect all the ads to have some connection to the game. Even as the ad does manage to entertain viewers with a humourous story, the zero connection with the sport makes one wonder was it a right move by the brand and its agency to tell a completely different story.
5. Saviour act
Campaign: Yeh game hi hai…taste ka
Company: PepsiCo India
The Ad: The campaign features actors Ranbir Kapoor and Pankaj Kapoor who save their friends from various sticky situations so that they can watch a cricket match. In one of the commercials, Ranbir Kapoor is shown saving his colleague from a dull meeting with their boss, with the help of a packet of Lay’s.
In the second film, Kapoor appears in college with a bag of chips and once again saves his friends from the clutches of the professor to watch a game of cricket on TV. Both the films end with Kapoor and his colleagues/friends sitting in front of a TV, eating some chips as they watch a cricket match. Meanwhile, the background song reminds the audience that these activities are what’s important in life.
Our Take Think PepsiCo, think great ads around cricket. Therefore, one expects great creative work coming out of the PepsiCo stable every time there is a World Cup. However, not only is the Lay’s ad a big disappointment in the department of creativity, even Ranbir Kapoor’s saviour act fails to charm the audience. Remember that during the 2011 World Cup tournament, PepsiCo had launched different flavours of Lay’s which were named after various players. The company had also rolled out a contest pitting one flavour against another and inviting consumers to vote for the one they liked best.
In contrast, the current one does not encourage any conversation with the brand. What’s more, the current ad film gives the impression that both the company and the creative agency sleep-walked during the ideation process. Lay’s just fails to cash in on the current cricket frenzy in the country. At the end of the day, PepsiCo comes across as just another company that has bought air-time to showcase its brand.
6. The big break
Campaign: Mauka Mauka
Brand: Star Sports
The Ad: The channel released the first campaign before the India versus Pakistan match. The ad begins with a Pakistani family watching its team play against India in Karachi in 1992. The young man picks up a box full of firecrackers. But to his dismay, his team loses the match. Since then, from 1996 to 2003, every time he prepares for the big day, his team loses every time. The second film released before the India versus South Africa match film shows a bunch of teenagers watching a cricket match when the doorbell rings. One of the boys gets up and opens the door. To his surprise he is given a box of crackers by two South African fans who sing, ‘Mauka Mauka’. The third film has been released right ahead of the India versus UAE match. Here again, a fan of the UAE team hands over his team jersey to a South African fan. The ad ends with the announcement of the upcoming India versus UAE match along with a voice-over saying, “This World Cup it’s India versus the world.”
Our Take : Promotional campaigns are meant to attract attention and Star Sports’ tailor-made campaign surely succeeds in doing so. The rivalry enjoyed by India and Pakistan is not hidden from anyone and the first ad released by the broadcaster is able to tap the right chords. The jingle, ‘Mauka mauka’ adds more zing to the campaign, making it a delight to watch. Given it is the ICC World Cup, the sports broadcaster’s strategy to highlight the India matches through its intelligent and quirky campaigns has really worked. In fact, such has been the success of the campaign that hastags such as #maukapechauka are trending on social media platforms. The campaign is a reflection of what a right idea can do for a brand.