Namah Chawla

Dhoni says ‘Asli Picture Abhi Baaki Hai’ in Star Sports’ IPL 2021 resumption ad

After being postponed midway in April, the remaining 31 matches of the tournament will now be held September 19 onward, with the final on October 15.

Following a brief pause earlier this year, VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is set to return for cricket fans. Leading sports broadcaster Star Sports has kick-started the celebrations ahead of the tournament, with a campaign, titled #AsliPictureAbhiBaakiHai.

In the ad, Chennai Super Kings player MS Dhoni is disguised as a blonde-haired rockstar, showcasing his acting skills. The former Indian cricket team captain is seen telling fans that the real picture is set to begin from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The tournament, which initially started on April 9, was to be hosted in six cities across India, before culminating in a final on May 30. The remaining 31 matches of the tournament will now be held in the UAE, with the final on October 15.

This latest campaign channelises the anticipation of fans, awaiting to see their favourite teams battle it out for the playoffs and then, the title.

Speaking about the campaign, Sanjog Gupta, head – sports, Star & Disney India, said that there is a great deal of anticipation for the resumption of IPL. “Teams and players typically up the ante on the field. They play top cricket and are at their competitive best in the final weeks, which means fans can look forward to higher intensity, impossible heroics and nail-biting finishes in the month-long spectacle. And this is the proposition of our campaign #AsliPictureAbhiBaakiHai. That, like a blockbuster, there are many twists and turns, highs and lows, thrills and spills in store.”

Conceptualised by the creative team of Star Sports, the campaign attempts to bring back the spirit of IPL, with catchy tunes and funky colours. Dhoni’s jazzy entry, paired with an addictive jingle, sets the mood for ‘Asli Picture Abhi Baaki Hai’, and exemplifies the spark and nostalgia that the IPL brings along with it.

The promo ad has made Twitter users come up with hilarious memes around Dhoni's quirky avatar, where they have compared the previous and new looks of ‘Captain Cool’.

Once IPL’s 14th edition resumes, audiences can continue to engage with Star & Disney India, which aims to deliver engaging and immersive broadcast of the tournament across TV and digital platforms.

The TVC will be released in multiple languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, and Malayalam. IPL 2021 will resume on the Star Sports network and OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar.

Flashback to Star Sport’s VIVO IPL ads

Star Sports has, time and again, launched innovative campaigns to keep the audience’s interest intact in the tournament. For IPL 2021 auction that was held in February 2021, Star Sports gave fans a platform to predict which team will buy their favourite players through an ‘Election se Selection’ online contest. The winners were chosen based on how many of their selections match the ones that are officially chosen for the auction.

For the launch of IPL 2021, two promotional films, as a part of the #IndiaKaApnaMantra campaign, were launched in April that featured Dhoni in two different avatars. The films showcased the emotions and the success mantras of cricketers in their pursuit of success.

Additionally, ahead of the start of the 14th season in April, Star Sports also launched this season’s anthem, titled 'India Ka Apna Mantra', featuring Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli, Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma, among others. The anthem also featured KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, K Gowtham, Riyan Parag, Shubman Gill, and Wriddhiman Saha.

For IPL’s season 13, the TVC launched by Star Sports and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) showed Dhoni shutting down his detractors (a couple) with poise. The film takes place in an aircraft.