IPL 2015: The Binding Force

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : March 13, 2015
The eighth edition of Indian Premier League's (IPL) campaign depicts the frenzy that cricket infuses in Indians, blurring the caste, religion and socio-economic divide.

Cricket, apart from films, is truly a binding force in our otherwise diverse country. The game brings together people from all walks of life beyond the hard lines of religion, caste and creed - an insight that the new campaign for Indian Premier League (IPL) highlights. In its eighth edition, the tournament will be held between April 8 and May 24, 2015.

Like the previous IPL campaigns, be it 'Bharat Bandh' (2011) or 'Aisa Mauka Aur Kahan Milega' (2012), 'Jumping Japang' (created by JWT) with Farah Khan or 'Come On, Bulaava Aaya Hai, this year's campaign maintains the euphoria attached to the tournament.

Executed by DDB Mudra, the minute-long campaign is a clever juxtaposition of shots of people across the country watching IPL matches and celebrating with each other. It traces the length and breadth of the country and beautifully captures how miniscule regional or religious differences become, when cricket comes into the picture. With a thumping theme track composed by Salim-Sulaiman the campaign captures the national euphoria and strengthens emotional affinity towards the sport. 'India ka tyohaar' invites people to break their differences and join in the revelry, which is aptly communicated through a heart-shaped mnemonic that exudes the 'spirit of togetherness' in the new season of Pepsi IPL 2015.

The film has been directed by Anupam Mishra of Crazy Few Films.

Neeraj Vyas

Vaishali Sharma

Sonal Dabral

Neeraj Vyas, senior EVP and business head, Sony Max, says, "This year's initiative 'India ka tyohaar' is a unique thought that stems from the insight of how Pepsi IPL, over the years, has grown to be a huge festival which people celebrate together. It is a perfect blend of cricket, entertainment and festivity packaged in one."

Speaking on the fact that ICC World Cup has posed a challenge for the channel to market IPL differently this time, Vaishali Sharma, VP, marketing, Sony Max, says they were aware of the euphoria that ICC World Cup will create. "I believe IPL as a format is unique as it cuts across gender, geographies and age barriers. We decided to highlight the scale and celebratory feel attached to the tournament," she says.

Unlike the World Cup, which hinges on 'national pride', IPL act as a 'unifying force' in today's divided world, notes Sharma.

This year, the tournament will be telecast in three new languages (Tamil, Telugu and Bengali), other than Hindi and English.

"Regional feed is a way to expand the viewer base. A regional language also has a greater emotional connect with the audience," explains Sharma.

Sonal Dabral, chairman, DDB Mudra, believes that the campaign idea stems from a very basic insight that, in India, cricket is followed like a religion and hence there is a festive feel attached to it.

"Cricket is a language that speaks to everybody cutting across the various demographics. We tried to capture the fervour and frenzy attached to IPL, without diluting the core message of the campaign. Unlike any other sporting event in the world, it's a microcosm of the passion, fervour and madness that envelops our country whenever cricket is played, uniting hearts and minds in its wake," he says.

Stretching across a four-week period till the launch of the tournament (April 8), Pepsi IPL 2015 campaign will have a complete 360-degree roll-out across mass media. The communication will be seen by viewers across mediums like television, print, radio, digital, outdoor, on-ground, mobile and BTL.

Bowled Over?

Experts seem to have varied opinions on the IPL campaign.

Shriram Iyer

Nishant Goyal

According to Shriram Iyer, executive creative director, Lowe Lintas and Partners, the commercial is attempting a much-explored ‎imagery, making it look slightly 'dated'.

"The usual tricks and oft-repeated themes have been deployed. The idea of calling it India's big festival also lacks novelty," he points out.

Iyer warns that cricket, as a theme, is both an opportunity and a trap, in advertising. "It would have been better to avoid the temptation of latching on to the lowest hanging fruits," he concludes.

An impressed Nishant Goyal, director, Corcoise Films, says that the campaign has energy and features a plethora of people across social strata, watching cricket.

Speaking on the camera work, Goyal notes that the task here was to tell little stories within a montage. The shot taking, he says, needs to strike the right balance between comprehension and entertainment quotient, and keep each sequence short so the edit is snappy.

"In that regard, most of the sequences works well ...a couple of them even make me wish they were longer," quips Goyal. He wishes the video included more heart-touching moments like the young girl smiling at her grandmother who's celebrating the victory of a team. He further suggests to "go more local."

"Apart from the Vaishnodevi pilgrims, I would have liked more from India's heartlands. Perhaps touch upon not just the religious and social diversity, but encompass ethnicities as well," he asserts.

First Published : March 13, 2015

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