Public sector giant and Fortune 500 Company Indian Oil is all set to open its cricketing innings with the title sponsorship of the Asia Cup, & #BANNER1 & # which commences in Sri Lanka later today. In tandem with the title sponsorship of the six-nation cricket tournament, the oil major will be unveiling its first set of celebrity-endorsed television commercials, featuring brand ambassadors Anil Kumble, Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan.
The three cricketers will feature in three commercials that are to be aired during the Indian Oil Asia Cup. Conceived by Indian Oil's roster agency Rediffusion | DYR, the commercials promote the company's 91 octane petrol brand Xtra Premium, and flagship lube brand Servo.
The film for Servo (titled 'mentor') is about veteran Kumble and young speedster Pathan training under an overcast sky. As the rain comes pouring down, Kumble shares his thoughts on the virtues of striving harder and pushing for excellence. 'You have to go through every barrier, you have to push every limit… without ever stopping,' he passionately tells an attentive Pathan. 'To get that perfect rhythm, that consistency, that extra… That adds up 100 per cent into every delivery.' Getting into his car, he adds, 'Just like Servo adds 100 per cent to my car's performance.' To which an enlightened Pathan adds, 'Every single time.'
The film for Xtra Premium featuring Yuvraj is about the cricketer and his companion stopping at a petrol pump to ask for directions to 'Vilas Bhavan'. The pump attendant (actor Vijay Raaz) enthusiastically tells them that if their car is running on Xtra Premium, they can take a circuitous route (that involves a five-mile drive and negotiating a good number of gol-chakkars) to arrive at their destination.
'Aur Xtra Premium nahin daala toh?' Yuvraj asks quizzically. 'Hmmm,' the attendant sighs, his enthusiasm withering. 'Saamne,' he says, pointing disinterestedly to a building directly across the road. 'More mileage with Xtra Premium… The best your vehicle can get,' the voiceover informs, as the cricketer points the nose of his car in the direction of the roundabout route recommended by the attendant. The second commercial for Xtra Premium, for the record, features Pathan.
Speaking about the decision to associate with cricket, Satwant Singh, deputy general manager - branding, Indian Oil, reveals that the company is looking to leverage the viewership that the game attracts in India to its benefit. "If you look at cricket viewership in India, viewers don't really surf channels when a game is on, unlike in the case of normal television viewership," he says. "There is a great opportunity to showcase brands to a captive audience, and we are looking at cricket as a vehicle to serious brand building."
Singh adds that Indian Oil will be using cricket as a long-terms strategy for brand building. "During the recent Indo-Pak series, we were one of the top spenders," he says, without revealing exact figures. "We also spent significant money during the last India-Australia series. And because we want a strong and close association with cricket, we pitched for and won the title sponsorship rights for the Asia Cup." Incidentally, Indian Oil is reported to have committed to spend $2.75 million towards title sponsorship of the trophy and for airtime on tournament broadcaster ESPN-Star Sports.
Detailing the company's reasons for picking the three cricketers as brand ambassadors, Singh says the idea was to cement Indian Oil's association with the game. "We looked at our product profile and the profile of players to find a connect between our brand ambassadors and out brands," he says. "We then signed on Anil Kumble, Yuvraj and Pathan, and are using them for our brands in a manner that there is a natural fit. Anil Kumble track record is all about consistency and performance, so we've used him for our 100 per cent performer, Servo. Yuvraj and Irfan, on the other hand, are exciting players, so they are for 91 octane petrol." Â© 2004 agencyfaqs!