Twenty20 cricket: Passion for some, inspiration for others

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 03, 2008
The short and snappy Twenty20 format of cricket has appealed to advertisers in more ways than one. One much influenced advertiser - Parle Products - has gone on to name its new cookie range after the format

The DLF & #BANNER1 & # Indian Premier League (IPL) may well have finished with gusto, but it has left its legacy behind. The Twenty20 format cricket tournament has given advertisers a huge platform to strut their stuff, but the tale doesn't end there. One much influenced advertiser - Parle Products - has gone on to name its new cookie range after the format. Christened 20-20, the new cookie range symbolises a shorter, crispier way of doing things.

The unique product name is attributed to the insight that youngsters are too impatient to go the long way around things. This 'now' generation (often referred to as the SMS generation) wants to live for the moment, seeking instant gratification in life, and supposedly, the cookie delivers on that premise with its heady mix of ingredients.

The host hogs the stage

Sleepy judges

Dozing audiences

Inspiration strikes: tabla player
saves the day
Admitting to being influenced by the IPL's philosophy, Mayank Shah, group product manager, Parle Products, says, "20-20 is a cricket relevant word which stands for a short, instantly gratifying game that ends in three hours. Similarly, the cookies packed with pure butter and cashews melt in the mouth instantaneously." The cookie range was thought of months earlier, and Shah admits to the birth of the branding idea emerging from the World Cup Twenty20 rather than the IPL. "It's just that the IPL, with its success story and crisp format, was the perfect time to launch such a brand concept," he says.

Just as cricket's format in India has been slowly swaying away from 50 over games to 20 over ones, Parle too has cut the chase for the younger generation with its 20-20 cookies. Interesting to note that Parle's arch rival, Britannia, has a crackers range called 50-50. Symbolic pun? "We're not trying to make digs or anything, as 50-50 belongs to a different category… ours is a cookie range," says Shah.

The launch campaign for the brand, created by Everest Brand Solutions, comprises two TV commercials, which feature around long-winding situations cut short by a 20-20 consumer. Each story conveys how the tedium of long speeches gets on everybody's nerves when a short, crisp summation is the breath of fresh air everybody seeks.

The first TVC shows a reality show host who, when it's time to announce the winner, goes on and on about irrelevant stuff. The audience, judges and contestants are waiting impatiently for the result. Finally, the tabla player in the band (on consuming a handy 20-20) interrupts him and quickly announces the winner, much to the relief of the drowsy audience.

The second ad has a royal coronation ceremony under way. The prince is ready with tilted head, waiting for the crown. But the royal priest goes on and on with his eulogy. A bored audience, ailing king and the impatient prince are finally relieved when the guard behind the prince interrupts the priest. Both ads end with the tagline, 'Short Mein Niptao'.

Plans are on to associate 20-20 with other tournaments/ films/ entertainment formats that delve into the shorter way of doing things.