afaqs!

IPL promotes global citizenship

By Abhishek Chanda , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | February 04, 2009
Max has launched its first communication for IPL Season 2

The second season of IPL is just three months away. Max, the sports channel of Multi Screen Media (Sony Entertainment Television) has released the first promo for the tournament.

Max holds exclusive telecast rights for the IPL tournament, which popularised a new shorter, crisper and more entertaining form of cricket.

In the first season of the tournament, the campaign was a mix of cricket and Bollywood, thus stating that it was 'Manoranjan ka baap' (father of all entertainment).

Gaurav & #BANNER1 & # Seth, vice-president, marketing, SET Max, tells afaqs!, "Our advertising has always been funny and tongue-in-cheek. We are clear about the fact that this format of cricket is not just for the fanatic or the purist, but for everybody who longs for indulgence in some high voltage event. Therefore, we have stuck to our 'filmi' approach to cricket."

The first season of IPL was a runaway success. This year, the challenge for IPL as well as Max is to create the same excitement around the tournament.

While the promo for Season 1 was about the notion that there is simply nothing bigger and better than IPL running on your TV, the Season 2 promo is about the effects of IPL's maiden run on the viewers.

The central idea of the commercial is that Max, as the home of IPL, has helped viewers transcend all boundaries, whether manmade or natural, and has helped people from all over the world come together.

The promo starts with a VO stating that while the Almighty gave us our land, we divided it into bits and pieces and created our own demarcations. Had this not been the case, a barber from India would have been doing 'champi' somewhere in Tokyo; a teacher from the Caribbean would have been teaching Sanskrit in Benaras; or, 'vada pav' would be the national cuisine in the UK.

The VO goes on to assert that all these might not necessarily be fanciful thoughts, because with IPL Season 2, boundaries will break and people from all races, creeds, castes and religions will come together and find a common cause to cheer about.

Whether it is Savitri fasting for Symmonds or Sister Anne praying for Dhoni, it's all possible at Max, the home of the DLF IPL, the VO signs off.

The commercial is high on Bollywood masala, including the characters, the activities they engage in, background score, narration and even the use of colours and textures. The Bollywood factor has almost had permanent residence in Max's communications.

Elaborating on the campaign, Seth, says, "The main objective of this campaign is to remind the viewers that Max is the home of the IPL."

The other objective was to remind the viewers about the success of IPL and how it broke all boundaries.

Seth adds, "We wanted to set the mood for the extravaganza that is yet to break on TV for the second time."

Max had conducted several detailed qualitative and quantitative studies, with the help of Hansa Research, to determine the impact of IPL on the Indian audience. The studies were conducted pan-India, both during and post the event.

The findings revealed that IPL had gone beyond the traditional viewership of cricket and newer strata of viewers were added during this period. IPL was not just for the male viewer over 15 years of age; women, the elderly and kids had also joined the bandwagon.

The IPL also created a different level of fan following, which was quite unusual. "Where else has the Indian audience cheered for Ponting or Symmonds or, for that matter, Shoaib Akhtar, while he came steaming in from the bowling end at the Eden Gardens?" Seth quips.

Seth adds, "As compared to regular cricket, IPL had unique features. So, prospects like getting to cheer for players and teams, whom otherwise one would regard as rivals; having the opportunity to sit with the whole family and watch the matches on prime time and cheering for teams with a unified spirit, were some of the catalysts that got people interested in this format."

The commercial will be seen on all network channels and in cinemas.

Seth maintains that they have strategically bought space for all the major releases in various movies theatres around the country.

The second phase of advertising, which will break by the end of February, will see all major mediums being utilized for a detailed campaign.

This commercial has been conceived and executed by the in-house team at SET Max. The second phase, however, will exhibit work from TBWA, Max's creative agency.