With brands dishing out cricket anthems during World Cup season, we ask experts for dos and don'ts for this tactic.
As our men in blue prepare to battle at the World Cup for the 12th time, brands are on their toes with a well-planned engagement strategy for fans. The cricket season is always a great time for brands to leverage the event and engage with customers and fans in a creative manner.
Leading the cricket frenzy, by their various creative communications, brands elbow each other in the fray in an attempt to rope in the attention of fans and generate good brand recall. As the evergreen cricket-based advertising marches on, in an extended spot, brands aim at musical anthems to draw some eyes... or ears in this case.
While the official ICC World Cup 2019 anthem - 'Stand by' - should ideally be the accepted anthem for this quadrennial festival, some counter that belief. Where Uber's 'Way-O, Way-O' and Puma's 'Sock Them' lure the fans, Kamla Pasand's 'Ek Aur Baar' and American Tourister's 'Goonje Bas Apna Naam' have heated up the competition. Weaved in a similar fashion, Star Sports' 'Crown Cricket Ka' gained equal popularity amongst the fan base.
Expanding on the diversity of the many countries, patriotism and the craze for the sport, cricket anthems are the sing-along tactic of brands. But how much can brands play around with aspects like - blue jersey, bat and ball, the pitch, emotions, and 'gully' cricket - synced with rap music in a battle of whose tune is better?
We asked our industry experts:
"Cricket - especially the World Cup, is a passionate event for the Indian audience. There is only one overriding emotion during this time - to cheer the team to victory. Brands can't possibly escape this. Almost all these World Cup anthems are thus, riding on this emotional quotient," explains Rajiv Raja, founder of Brand Musiq, a sonic branding outfit.
It is, however, difficult to differentiate between any of these anthems if the audio is muted. Aside from the bleed blue theme, the video base of all these anthems has similarities. Gathering his thoughts on what can make a brand's cricket anthem stand out, Raja comments that one can't, for sure. "Perhaps, highlighting the brand values through the jingle while motivating the team as well, can help viewers differentiate between brands and their anthems," he says.
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He adds, "Most of the brands are using the same 'ra-ra' effect with rock music inclined towards stimulating the audience to sing along. However, to break the clutter, brands have to be able to efficiently communicate its ethos while churning out the cricket enthusiasm."
When questioned about the dos and don'ts for brands releasing such anthems, founder and creative head, Black Swan Life, Sukumar Menon, says there aren't any. "It's only the brand's message in the anthem that can differentiate it from others. An anthem of this sort should be able to convey the core essence of the brand, keeping in mind it's connect with the viewers. It is important that the brand catches the raw pulse of its consumers. A video should not simply be released to step into the competition. The creative team has to know what to say and how to say it", he comments.
With regard to the tonality of an anthem and how it can be differentiated from others, Sukumar says, "For any communication with the viewer, it is important that the brand catches the right frequency. The idea and the craft have to hit the bull's eye. There has to be a natural connect and relevance of the message that is being given out." He adds, "To resonate amongst its audience, the brand has to keep in mind, at all times, its core values. If you hold onto it right, you will never have to worry about what is happening with the competitors."