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ICC CWC'11: Now, an anthem war erupts

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ICC CWC'11: Now, an anthem war erupts

While ‘Waka Waka’ and ‘Wavin Flags’ were the official and unofficial anthems of the FIFA soccer World Cup in 2010, the ICC World Cup 2011 is seeing a plethora of ‘anthems’ dominating the airwaves.

It undeniably started with the official World Cup anthem – ‘De Ghumake’ – composed by the trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy.

Meanwhile, Radio One joined hands with LIC to come up with ‘Go India Go’, dedicated to the Indian cricket team. The song has been composed by Leslie Lewis, written by Swanand Kirkire and sung by Shaan and Kailash Kher.

Not to be left behind, Pepsi recently came up with a song, titled ‘Bindaas Badlo Yeh Game’, which has been composed by Shantanu Moitra with lyrics by Swanand Kirkire. The two have also lent their vocals to the song. The anthem is currently being aired on radio, with a video expected to be released on leading TV channels soon.

Fever 104 FM has launched ‘One Day Mataram’ with cricketer Sourav Ganguly. The anthem was composed by the creative teams of Fever 104 FM in Mumbai and Delhi.

My FM, Radio One, and Oye FM, too, are already running with their respective anthems, while Red FM is joining the growing list soon.

9XM, in association with Nokia, has created a special cricket anthem for the World Cup 2011. Titled ‘Iss Bar Toh’, the anthem has been developed by the 9XM team. The channel has also made the anthem available to fans for download on their mobile as caller tunes and ringtones in Bhangra, Nasik Dhol, Sitar and Garba versions, besides the original format.

‘X’ factor is missing
Advertisers and marketers are mixed in their reactions to this overabundance of World Cup anthems. Here’s what they had to say…

According to Rajiv Rao, NCD, Ogilvy India, with the nth number of anthems, it was difficult to focus or keep in mind just one. He pointed out, “Since India is a nation driven by cricket, a fan will definitely cheer the team where the anthem will be a mode of cheering, hence benefitting the brand in some way, but that too has a catch to it – if the brand is big enough to remember, it will be remembered, the smaller ones might just fade away with time. For the same, it is important as to who is creating the anthem and which brand is it associated with.”

He further said that he had not come across anything with regards to the ICC World Cup 2011 that had actually managed to stay in his mind, something like a ‘Waka Waka’ for FIFA. “I guess the ‘X’ factor is missing,” Rao felt.

Abdul Khan, Senior Vice President, Tata Teleservices Ltd, felt that this was ideally not the right time for anthems to be out now, but added that there were more practical issues dictating it. “I think it’s a bit absurd to have multiple anthems due to which it’s rather unlikely any would pick up. An anthem, or rather a World Cup song, properly created and marketed is fully capable of creating a stir, I do think interest could perk up if India reaches the semis, leading to euphoria if it’s the World Cup finals. Properties like World Cup and IPL are about critical mass, if a small brand invests smartly, it could capture attention as certain challenger handset brands did earlier. Otherwise it’s just a game big brands play,” he noted.

Josy Paul, Chairman & NCD, BBDO India, remarked, “These days, everybody is launching anthems. Throw a stone in the air, and there’s a good chance that you’ll hit an anthem. It’s become a national nuisance! The best time to launch an anthem is when no one else is launching one. Only time will tell. I am not an expert at anthems. I still prefer India’s national anthem. The best way to test an anthem is to check if people stand up when you hear it.”

KS ‘Chax’ Chakravarthy, NCD, Draftfcb Ulka, emphatically said, “I think anthems are an enormous waste of time, so no question of which is better.”

Giving a different point of view, Sanjay Tripathy, CMO, HDFC Life Insurance, said that in tournaments like the World Cup, multiple brand associations often tended to dilute visibility for each brand. “Anthems have proved to be very helpful for brands to break this clutter and create a better connect with the audience, compared to other brands. Music is definitely a very successful medium to convey the passion for cricket as it generates a lot of excitement, along with a sense of unity among the masses,” he added.

Tripathy further said, “HDFC Life, too, created an anthem for Rajasthan Royals during IPL 2009, which was very well received. World Cup has just started. It has been observed that semi-final and final rounds draw far higher viewership as compared to the league matches. If the anthem is appealing, there is still a lot of scope for brands to tap the audience, if promoted well, since anthems resonate very well with the masses, especially the youth. Thus, it definitely helps in keeping a tournament like World Cup alive and exciting. This has worked well for other sporting tournaments. World Cup still has a massive loyal audience, an anthem will just come as an added advantage to gain popularity.”

Meanwhile, the war is on, at least till the time India is in the tournament, which everyone has exceedingly soaring expectations from.

Also read:
ICC CWC'11: Getting radio active with gusto


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