afaqs!

Micromax: United by Cricket

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 18, 2015
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The handset maker has brought out another anthem, sung by artistes in nine different Indian languages, to show the universality of cricket.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 fervour has intensified after India's splendid performance in its first match against Pakistan. While expectations from the Indian team are high, brands are making a beeline to make the most of the situation. Sharing the joy of being ardent cricket fans is mobile handset maker Micromax Informatics.

Micromax's new Unite cricket anthem

Micromax's newest campaign is a musical anthem featuring several regional musicians from around the country. The video uses the tune of the popular song Chale Chalo (from the movie 'Lagaan') and changes it to suit the ICC Cricket World Cup mood. What is remarkable, however, is the fact that the song features nine singers singing in nine different regional languages, cheering on the Indian team at the world platform.

Rahul Marwaha

"We all know that cricket literally holds this country together and the world cup is something that can make time stand still in our country. The second insight that we used was our love for music. Music is an emotion that transcends barriers of languages and words. We coupled both these insights for the Micromax Unite Cricket Anthem," explains Rahul Marwaha, executive vice president, Interactive Avenues.

Recall that Micromax had earlier released a Unite anthem around Independence Day, where many regional singers such Benny Dayal, Raghu Dixit, Neeti Mohan, Brodha V, Voctronica, Sanam Puri, Swaroop Khan, Kamaal Khan, Apekhsa Dandekar and Shruti Pathak came together and sang a regional version of Roobaroo (from the movie 'Rang de Basanti'). This year's anthem, meanwhile, sees Dayal, Dixit, Shalmali Kholgade, Akriti Kakar, Karthik, Zubeen Garg, Shakthisree Gopalan, Kavita Seth and Hari and Sukhmani singing in Hindi, Punjabi Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Assamese. Both anthems, brought out in association with Sony Music, are extensions of Micromax's Unite 2 campaign. The phone's USP is the ability to type in 21 different languages. The first campaign for Unite 2 showed people from different regions of India, who speak different languages, proudly congregating at a spot to celebrate the freedom of being able to converse in their own languages.

"This is our second project with Micromax and an even more exciting one, where we are showcasing one of our AR Rahman classics 'Chale Chalo' with nine talented artistes singing the song in nine different languages all dedicated to the Indian cricket team. The concept is unique and will connect with the passion that we all have for cricket," said Kiran D'Cruz, national head - brand partnerships, Sony Music.

Nikhil Kant

But, does it not call for a challenging task to figure out a song that can capture the whole nation's spirit and then translate it to fit exactly in the same tune? According to Interactive Avenues, choosing the song was not a difficult task, as 'Lagaan' was one of the most memorable cricket films. However, choosing the correct artiste, to represent every part of the country, was tough.

According to Nikhil Kant, associate account director, Interactive Avenues, "We revisited our artiste list countless times to accommodate every artiste together, both for the recording and the shoot. Even the process of songwriting was a challenge as different languages have different phonetics, and bringing 10 languages to rhyme together in one song was a great challenge."

On the right note?

While, the brand has tried to leverage the cricket craze prevalent in the country right now, does the anthem impress?

Sarvesh Raikar

Shuvadeep Nag

According to Sarvesh Raikar, executive creative director, Scarecrow Communications, the campaign lacks a single-minded idea to show how cricket is a binding force for this nation.

"There are too many ideas. One thread is taking a diverse bunch of singers. Another is having props and faces painted in the tri-colour. Yet another is people mad about cricket, across different regions. While they have looked for inspiration in the right direction, they have not borrowed the energy of the original song from 'Lagaan'. It has been painstakingly rewritten, mind you, but the tune is too modernised and lacks the raw soulful energy of the original," Raikar says.

Shuvadeep Nag, vice president, South, Rediffusion, finds this to be a typical representation of the 'cricket craze in India'. On the idea of stringing a jingle with multiple languages, he says, "it is quite dated; actually reminds me of 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara', though the overall ring of the jingle sounds nice and the interplay of the regional languages with 'Chale Chalo' works as a good reminder element. I would have pushed the tonality to a brasher confidence, as it is more representative of the mood and outlook of the current team, rather than that of a resolute underdog."

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