The ICC World Cup 2015 has started for India on a high, with extreme pressure on the defending champions to reclaim the title. The first bout with Pakistan resulted in India claiming an easy win, making it their sixth straight World Cup win against Pakistan.
Now, it's time to take on South Africa, to which the Indian team has lost on the last three encounters, in the World Cup. Taking a cue from this insight, Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the event, has launched a promo titled '#MaukaMauka', where it takes a dig at the Indian team by asking pointedly - 'Can India beat South Africa this Sunday?'
The India-South Africa match will be held on February 22 at 9 AM (IST).
The broadcaster had also released an ad on similar lines right before the India-Pakistan match, as a part of the same campaign, where it highlighted that India had defeated Pakistan on their last five encounters in the World Cup, and asked the question from the perspective of a Pakistani cricket fan - 'Can Pakistan cricket team give him an opportunity to burn crackes in jubiliation this time?'
Talking about the current campaign, a Star spokesperson says, "All sport thrives on rivalry. While the India-Pakistan rivalry is well-established and followed, and the film for it did well, we saw an opportunity to build the India-SA rivalry. Of course, it helped that we had never beaten the Proteas in a WC match." The broadcaster hopes to lure even the 'fence sitters' to watch the match.
These promos are all a part of Star Sports' #maukamauka campaign, which showcases the Indian team's journey in the World Cup. There will be more promos as and when India clashes with other teams. Prior to this, the broadcaster came up with the initiatives such as #Wontgiveitback campaign and 'Legend Speak Up', which included former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar talk about his journey.
The promos have been designed by Bubblewrap Films, directed by Suresh Triveni and produced by Ketaki Guhagarkar. Speaking about the brief, Triveni, director, Bubblewrap Films, says, "The idea was to create buzz around the match, both with Pakistan and South Africa with a light banter. We did not intend to take a dig at any team, and aimed at promoting the sports in its true spirit. Both our videos on Pakistan and South Africa have done well. We have capitalised on the statistical records of the teams, such as how many times each have come face to face and won."
The production house has smartly incorporated crackers in both the films. In the latest one, South African fans gift crackers to the Indian fans to strengthen the hope of the latter for a victory this time, while in the first promo (Pakistan one), the protagonist waits for his entire life - starting from 1992 - to burst crackers to celebrate his team's World Cup win against India.
The India-Pakistan match promo had a Sufi track as the background score. "We were against giving the protagonist a clichéd look with a skull cap, and wanted to show that the life in Pakistan is the same as it is in India. With the India-South Africa match, we thought of bringing South African players knocking at the doorsteps of the Indian fans and handing them the crackers, implying that it's a great chance to break the jinx," he elaborates.
On YouTube, the India-South Africa promo has fetched over 7.9 lakh views, while the India-Pakistan promo garnered over 1.7 million views, along with impressions on social media handles.
Harsha Joshi, executive vice president, Group Trading, Dentsu Aegis Network, on the other hand, is not too impressed. She says, "I do not think that it's a great one. It resembles the India-Pakistan promo; the only difference being that here it's the South African fans. The theme and tunes are the same, but the storyboard is different."
She further adds that one has to understand that cricket in India is like a religion and an India-Pakistan match is the greatest festivity. "Cricket frenzy fans would watch India-Pakistan bout across the globe, but the sentiment for the India-South Africa match is not the same. Though fans will watch the game, the enthusiasm will not be the same. Overall, the recall value for the ad is not that high," adds states.
"Crackers has now become a property associated with the World Cup. And social media has picked it up very well after the India-Pakistan match," she adds.
Post India-South Africa, the defending champions will clash with UAE (February 21), West Indies (February 28), Ireland (March 10) and Zimbawe (March 14) in the league matches.