The cricket Tri-series between India, West Indies and Sri Lanka, which began with a dismal show by India on July 30, had been making news even before the players landed in Lanka, thanks to the row over telecast rights.
The row over, Ten Sports, in a partnered effort with Mindshare, has come up with an innovative way to present series sponsor Pepsi.
Instead of showing commercials during the drinks break as is the convention in ODIs, the camera this time stays on the field keeping the viewers glued to the place of action.
Explained Sundar Raman, General Manager, Mindshare, Delhi, “The idea was of having an ad break without an ad. The camera stays on the field, with the branding of Pepsi all over. The commentators go on the ground speaking to the players and sharing other information. It’s the closest point of cricket action and Pepsi takes you there.”
The drinks break this time is called ‘Pepsi drinks break’, Raman said, adding that the drinks trolley carries the soft drink brand’s name and “there would be huge visibility as the size of the screen is reduced to have static images of Pepsi’s ‘Oye Bubbly’ during the two-and-a-half-minute drinks break”.
There are four drinks breaks of two and a half minutes each in each ODI. These will be dedicated to Pepsi across all seven ODIs to be played in the series. Other advertisers are restricted to buying slots other than the drinks break. When asked about the media cost, Raman simply said, “It was an extremely workable proposition for Pepsi.”
Elucidating further, Gargi Kaul, Director, Advertising and Sales, Ten Sports, said that they preferred not to disturb the programming of the channel with a lot of innovation, but this idea, as suggested by Peter Hutton, Head of Programming for Ten Sports, fitted perfectly.
“We believe in integrating brands that make sense for a particular game. As Pepsi is the presenting sponsor for the cup, this idea seemed the apt thing for us to do. In fact, we do not want to restrict this innovation to the Tri-series but take it further,” Kaul said.