afaqs! news bureau

When Unacademy used IPL moments to instil learning

The ad makes use of India’s cultural sentiment – that everything offers a learning experience.

One of the most interesting aspects of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) has been the nature of the sponsors. Many of them didn’t even exist when the tournament first took place in 2008. From title sponsor Dream11 to official partners CRED and Unacademy to umpire partner Paytm.

Now that we’ve got this bit of learning (about sponsorships) out of our way, it’s time to focus on Unacademy’s latest IPL ad. It’s quirky, engrossing and talks about learning, but not in the way you’d expect an edtech brand to speak about its USP.

Conceived by Lowe Lintas, the ad (called ‘Cracking the Game’) correlates the best moments of this year’s Dream11 IPL with excellent visual aids for concept learning. Think cricketer Virat Kohli’s aggressive facial expressions being used to explain the concept of ‘volcanic eruption’ or understanding the ‘Theory of Collision’ when two batsmen bump into each other while attempting to take a run.

Sonal Mishra, director, marketing, Unacademy, said, “Our efforts during this IPL have all been about how our brand proposition, which is to learn from the best, can be tied to cricket. While brainstorming ideas for this film, the takeaway was that all of us learn every day, from the most unlikely sources, and often unknowingly."

“So, we wanted to see if we could draw parallels between various moments during the matches and learning. The response to the film has been spectacular and we're delighted that our brand message is reaching deeper with this film."

Puneet Kapoor, regional creative officer, Lowe Lintas, added, “Unacademy’s spirit and philosophy of ‘Let’s Crack It!’ isn’t limited to students only... So when the marketing team came up with the challenge of cracking a great idea with IPL footage only, we thought of applying the academic ‘gyaan’ in interesting, relevant, yet irrational juxtaposition. We had lots of fun in mixing and matching footage with theories and principles to come up with the gags."

A point from the press note succinctly sums up the ad: If there's one thing that is culturally relevant to every Indian, it is that every experience – be it a movie, a story, a book or a game – is something to learn from, brought to life with the quintessential question, ‘Kya Seekha?’.

Powered with this insight, the film – aimed to appeal to 15 to 30 year olds – starts by asking students what they have learnt from the IPL this year. It then beautifully connects intense sporting moments with learning concepts such as the Pythagoras theorem, magnetic induction, Darwin’s theory of evolution, the melting point of metals, etc.


Creative team: Puneet Kapoor, Arpan Bhattacharyya, Pulkit Khandelwal

Account management: Sonali Khanna, Sudhir Nayak, Shantanu Pramanik

Planning: Kishore Subramanian, Prashanth Murthy

Production house: Hungry Films (Director: Vijay Sawant)

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