Suraj Ramnath

India could play against Pakistan thrice in Asia Cup 2018

Gautam Thakar, CEO of Star Sports unveiled the new campaign for the upcoming Asia Cup starting September 15.

While the Indian cricket team has already lost the one day series against England and seem to be performing quite poorly in the on-going test series against the same opponent, Star Sports is focusing on the brighter side of things. The channel has launched a new TV campaign for the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 that will see India pitted against their arch-rival Pakistan and other Asian teams like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The tournament will be played from September 15-28. The title sponsor for the tournament is Unimoni.

India could play against Pakistan thrice in Asia Cup 2018

Star Sports' new TVC for Asia Cup 2018 - Knock Knock

The new campaign titled 'Knock Knock' is based on the creative insight that one's neighbour's success will always be a constant reminder of one's own failure. The film subtly takes on the age-old 'Neighbour vs Neighbour' concept and brings alive neighbourhood rivalry in a way that is bound to leave viewers with a smile on their faces. The campaign aims to ignite a flurry of emotions - pride, merriment, euphoria, and most importantly, the love of cricket, across the sub-continent.

The 'Knock Knock' campaign has been conceptualised by Star Sports' creative communications team and produced by Nirvana Films.

India could play against Pakistan thrice in Asia Cup 2018

Gautam Thakar

Talking about advertisers' interest in Asia Cup 2018, Gautam Thakar, chief executive officer, Star Sports, says, "We are seeing good interest from advertisers because it has been a long time since India and Pakistan have played in Dubai or the Middle East and I think that, traditionally, has been the seat of the rivalry. Obviously, we have had a good run against Pakistan in most World Cups but for the finals in the Champions Trophy 2017, so there is an expectation that India is going to hit back."

He adds, "I think, in this Asia Cup, there could be up to three India vs Pakistan matches because there is one in the group stage, one in the Super Four stage and then one if both of them reach the finals. There have not been too many times where India has played Pakistan three times in a series. That's driving not just the sponsors but user interest as well. I think the viewership will stem from that, so we are excited."

Speaking about Hotstar playing a part in Asia Cup 2018, Thakar says, "Last time, during the IPL, we had Hotstar Watch 'N Play which did really well. In fact, people who watched and played watched twice as much as compared to those who didn't. The Hotstar team is finalising their plans and will soon release a statement, but we will continue to innovate and the big goal there is how we engage users because that's really a two-way medium; and certainly some of the numbers that we saw during IPL, in terms of viewership, set world records with 10.3 million concurrent users. So, we are making big bets on Hotstar and interactivity is the next thing we will invest in more."

Star Sports will air the Asia Cup in English, Hindi and Tamil languages. The broadcaster will continue with its Select Dugout initiative that was done during IPL 2018.

With regard to the launch of Star Sports Kannada, Thakar says, "We are very excited about languages. Even Hindi didn't exist till a few years ago and has seen a lot of growth since. We have applied for licenses for languages and our plans are ready."

The new campaign will be promoted on Star's channels and channels outside the network. The campaign will be on-air for the next five to six weeks.


Client: Star Sports

Creative Agency: Star Sports creative communications team

Production House: Nirvana Films

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