Sony Pictures Sports Network has unveiled a new campaign titled 'Love for cricket knows no boundaries'. The ad film features a real life cricket fan who loves following the game despite his visual impairment.
The campaign is built upon true stories of cricket fans and their love for the game. Highlighting how much the game means to fans in India, the campaign aims to bring more such stories to light.
The film depicts the story of a fan – Charles Rao, whose love for cricket surpasses his visual impairment. Asserting the underlying premise of the campaign - how cricket as a game sees no boundaries, the protagonist (played by Rao himself) is seen sporting an Australian jersey, reminiscing Shane Warne's time in the team. The ad film has been conceptualised by Sony Pictures, and created by Scarecrow M&C Saatchi.
The campaign has been rolled out in the wake of the upcoming international cricket series and tours including Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan, New Zealand's tour of Australia, England's tour of South Africa, Australia's tour of South Africa and West Indies' tour of Sri Lanka, among others.
We spoke to Neville Bastawalla, head of marketing, Sony to get some insights on how the idea of featuring a real life fan in the ad film was conceived.
He responds, “The campaign line is actually crafted by Sony – 'love for cricket knows no boundaries'. The idea was inspired by a true story...there are hundreds of similar stories of cricket fans.” Expounding on the execution of the campaign, Bastawalla says, “We came up with this idea in March, but we wanted a powerful creator to back it up...we took the idea ahead with Scarecrow.” Drawing similarities with romantic love stories, Bastawalla opines, “Here too, cricket fans cross all sorts of boundaries for their love of the game. There is a blind cricket fan in Thane who sells cricket magazines. His wife reads them out to him.”
We asked Neville if the brand intended to unveil similar campaigns in the future. He says, “We are going to take this forward through the year now. In fact, we are doing a similar campaign for the upcoming cricket series between Australia and New Zealand. It will also be about the love in the hearts of the people for the game. We are going to spread it across social media as well, everything will start breaking out in the next eight days or so.”
Speaking on the campaign, Raghu Bhat, co-founder, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi said in a press release, “A fan's connection with the game is sacred. His love for the game is pure. We wanted to capture this purity.” Hinting at possible future renditions of the campaign, he says, “The brand idea 'Love for cricket knows no boundaries' will be brought alive through multiple human stories.”