Even before we know it, the ICC Cricket World Cup is here again. India’s performance in the last World Cup had seen many advertisers, including the likes of PepsiCo and LG India, express concern on the return on investments from a property such as the World Cup. However, as time has passed by, most of the last World Cup’s ‘bitter’ experience, if one can put it like that, is forgotten and large corporates and advertisers are already contemplating different ways of factoring in ‘cricket’ as an angle of the ad – Frito Lays, Castrol are just some examples.
Ogilvy India is ready with a campaign for ICC World Cup, and TapRoot has worked out a communication for PepsiCo, too. But the one thing that is bound to happen, sooner or later, is creative comparison. Not only of what agencies in India have down, but also at an international level. So, one can expect comparisons of Cricket World Cup communication with, say a FIFA World Cup. Football fan or no (and I am not), the advertising created for FIFA World Cup truly made an impact on many around the globe. Coca-Cola’s tactic to take a K’Naan number and re-energise it for the World Cup had given tough competition to the official anthem ‘Waka Waka’ (despite Shakira). For some, ‘When I’ll be older’ is still the official Football World Cup song – such is the magic of creativity that sticks out.
Even before the Pepsi ads broke out, the OOH space saw cricket players body-painted, and that was interesting. The Pepsi ads themselves are a slice from an Indian cricket fan’s life. Don’t they all instruct cricketers while they are playing, or not, even if the instructions are through television screens!
The ICC World Cup campaign is also interesting – walking the tight rope to reach that big target of the World Cup trophy.
But are these communications supported with enough for people to watch it again and again, download on their laptops or handsets? What are the take-aways from these that cricket fans can take off-screen? I don’t know – I frankly didn’t spot any. And when there is less than a month to go for the World Cup, I wonder if that is a good thing. For people across the world, Indian creativity is living its finest years, and it truly is. It reflects in the work, in the manner our creative leaders communicate their messages and in the passion we see in the creative domain today.
That being said, the Cricket World Cup is a big opportunity to create something that a nation would move to. And I am not sure we have taken advantage of that opportunity yet.