The ‘aao shor machao’campaign for T20 Blind Cricket World Cup has turned into an anthem nationwide and more than achieved what it set out to—draw public attention to the event and the achievements of our visually impaired team of Men in Blue. In fact, the campaign created by Ushakkaal Communications has received appreciation and mention in a tweet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India is the hosting country for the tournament presently underway from January 31 to February 12. Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), the cricketing arm of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, is organising the tournament.
“The entire campaign was conceived over a discussion about what we can do to promote the second edition of the T20 World Cup for the Blind as India is the host country. Though India was the champion team of the first edition, there was very little awareness of the same. We felt it was time the other Men in Blue got their rightful place under the sun,” said Raaj Hiremath, CEO of Ushakkaal Communications.
UshakkaalCommunications was briefed to handle all communication, including Trophies, Radio, Print,TV,and ground event for the tournament.
Hiremathsays the World Cup for the blind is not very popular among cricket enthusiasts. The campaign hoped to change this mindset and has successfully done it as crowds are coming to watch the matches.
Roping in top cricketers of the Indian team, the advertising fraternity came together to create a campaign that would generate interest and support for the cause.
Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, was one of the high-profile cricketers to appear in the side’s powerful anthem released on January 28, alongside members of the blind cricket team, including Prakash Jayaramaiah, the wicketkeeper.Shekhar Naik, the captain for the blind team, is Kohli’s fellow Padma award winner this year.
About the process of roping in talent from across agencies, Hiremath says, “The big challenge was to create something that would touch the hearts of people, while at the same time, not beg support.”
Sachin Das Burmaand Viral Pandya were brought on board. “We knew Sachin Das Burmaas he started his advertising journey with us and today,ranks among the best writers in the industry.Viral Pandya needs no introduction either.We were lucky that he agreed to come on board as we strived to bring the best creative talent together,” added Hiremath.
Therefore, as official partners of CABI, Ushakkaal Communications brought in Viral Pandyaas the creative director of the campaign, and Sachin Das Burmawrote the film story and jingle, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “This is an Anthem for the blind”. The PM has shared the video too. The ad film was directed by Shiladitya Moulik.
“The Indian cricket team supported our campaign fully for shoots and Tandav Films handled the entire production, including the inaugural event held at IG Stadium,” informed Hiremath.The campaign was a 360-degree rendition of creatives. The trophy designed by Pandya depicted two bats, which look like a shining sword with a blind eye in the centre. Cricketers such as Kohli played blindfolded to get a sense of the hardships the visually impaired cricketers face on the pitch.
Viral Pandya, Chief Creative Officer, Out of the Box, said,“It was an honour to work for the cause. Delivering the campaign in seven days flat was exhausting and exhilarating. I thank the cricketers who came onboard to promote the campaign from the bottom of my heart.”
Savitaraj Hiremath, Director, Ushakkaal Communications, said that Sachin Das Burma wrote remarkable lyrics in Hindi, which took the anthem to a new level and will remain with people long after the World Cup ends.
For Sachin Das Burma, the experience was humbling. “I had to keep in mind that we are creating something for the World champions, and that, too, in a country obsessed with the game. However, once I was into it, it was simple to come up with the central campaign idea – that they cannot see, but they can hear. So,aao shor machaowas our call to our countrymen.”
However, he says the most special moment was when he met the team and all of them sang the anthem together. “They told me how they loved it, how it made them feel special, and how it motivated them to lift the World Cup once again. I couldn’t have asked for more,” adds Burma.
Client: CABI (Cricket Association for Blind in India)
Creative director: Viral Pandya/Sachin Das Burma
Writer: Sachin Das Burma/Sabu
Account management: Raaj Hiremath
Agency: Ushakkaal Communications
Production House: Tandav Film Entertainment
Director of film: Shiladitya Moulik