Aishwarya Ramesh

With India's ICC T20 match defeat, is it the end of the road for the 'Mauka Mauka' campaign?

Is it possible to extend the idea of Mauka Mauka campaign after Pakistan's victory or has the campaign reached an organic end?

In 2015, when actor Vishal Malhotra donned Pakistan's jersey to play the role of the 'Mauka Mauka man', little did he know what a hit the ad campaign was going to become. The ads focussed on the rivalry between the India and Pakistan. As a part of the ads, we see that the man is constantly looking for opportunities to burst firecrackers in case Pakistan won against India in a test cricket match.

As the ads progress, we see that the 'Mauka man' grows older, gets married, has a son who is equally cricket obsessed (and sad that he doesn’t get to burst those crackers). However, one thing stays the same - the box of crackers, which has begun to gather dust in the shelf by now.

The campaign comes with a historical background. Prior to Sunday’s 2021 match, Pakistan had never beaten India in a World Cup game in 12 meetings. India had enjoyed seven wins in 50-over World Cups and five wins in 20-over World Cups since the first match in 1992.

Star Sports India recently revived the 'Mauka Mauka' campaign when India and Pakistan met on the pitch again for the ICC T20 Men's World Cup 2021. A week before the tournament, the ads that ran showed the Mauka Man in Dubai and Mumbai, waiting for the opportunity to set off the ever-present box of fireworks.

However, the match on Sunday finally broke Pakistan's losing streak. After decades, the Mauka man finally had the opportunity to set off his firecrackers. Two days after the match, Star Sports took to Instagram to show a short video of the actor finally lighting a rocket with a gleeful expression on his face.

Which led to the question - if the Mauka man has finally had his Mauka to burst his crackers, and maybe even buy more to celebrate; what would happen to the fate of the iconic campaign?

The overall consensus from the people we spoke to in the ad industry was that it is completely possible to extend the idea of Mauka Mauka campaign, even in the context of Pakistan winning the T20 match – it all comes down to the individual’s creativity.

Jay Mozaria, group creative manager - Schbang opines that seeing the Mauka Mauka guy bursting crackers and Pakistan’s victory might be an organic end to the campaign, but if the brand wants to extend the idea – it is possible to do so.

Jay Morzaria
Jay Morzaria

“The Mauka Mauka campaign is so iconic that the ads have become a part of pop culture. It’s based on a relatable insight, and people are even making memes on it. Its fully possible to expect spinoffs and spoofs drawn from it. Maybe you’ll see sketches from AIB or Filtercopy. There can be multiple ways in which the conversation can be tapped into,” he explains.

He adds that the campaign could organically end, but it doesn’t have to. “If I had to take the idea forward, I would probably create an ad which was along the lines of ‘Save the environment, don’t look for a mauka to burst crackers again because we’re going to win’,” he says.

Ravinder Siwach, national creative director, Havas Gurgaon points out that with India’s defeat, a long-standing record died - but not the rivalry between the two countries. “For me ‘Mauka Mauka’ was only one way of looking at this great rivalry, and this rivalry is a fertile land for creativity. I also feel the campaign was becoming a bit tedious now, so I will be glad if this ends here and something fresh is thought of,” he opines.

Ravinder Siwach
Ravinder Siwach

He ponders that if he had to take this idea forward as a creative person, hewould create something on these lines – “Everyone except the Mauka Mauka character can be having a memory loss about this Pakistan win. It’s 12-1, after all. For another it could be built around ‘preparing for 12 more losses’. And for another it could be him still celebrating this win before the next match because he knows Pakistan is an inconsistent team. But don’t we all know what will happen? We sit in one place to make India win. This campaign will have to leave the chair,” he signs off.

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