Behind-the-scenes action of the most talked about Dream11 ads this IPL

When you shoot with MS Dhoni & Rohit Sharma, goosebumps are guaranteed, says Shriram Iyer, Chief Creative and Content Officer, Tilt Brand Solutions

e4m by Neeta Nair
Published: Sep 23, 2020 9:09 AM  | 4 min read

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) began last weekend and so did brand activities for the biggest sporting extravaganza of the year, with e-commerce, ed-tech app, gaming app, fin-tech and automobile players all fighting for attention. A brand that has been much in news for stepping in last minute as the title sponsor of the tournament has expectedly gone the extra mile, bombarding both digital and TV screens with Dream11 ads featuring MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant. Here are the details on some behind-the-scenes action for one of the most star-studded ad campaigns of the season – Yeh Apna Game Hai

The ad, both the 45-second digital film and the TV spots, were made by Tilt Brand Solutions. Shriram Iyer, Chief Creative and Content Officer, Tilt Brand Solutions, talks about how a creative team full of cricket enthusiasts effortlessly came up with scripts from their personal experiences to create a 10-day long gully cricket atmosphere while shooting for these ads.

Iyer says, “Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise Films directed these spots. He himself was, and perhaps is still, a more than decent cricketer. And needless to say, a genius filmmaker. Srijan Shukla, our creative head on the Dream11 brand, was at one point a fabulous cricketer who dropped the bat to pick up the pen instead and become a writer. The observations that made for each script are actually an outcome of the regular game of box cricket that we play in our office at Tilt. The bizarre rules of our box cricket game and all our early memories of gully cricket rules form the backbone of these scripts.”

How difficult was it to build the connect with fantasy sports for an ad which is to play around and during the biggest live cricketing action, IPL? He responds, “The idea and the stories are an outcome of close collaborative brainstorming within Tilt and with the brand teams at Dream11. It’s cricket after all. So the germ of the idea can come from anywhere and anyone. And everybody involved jumps in. We are not too obsessed with linking fantasy gaming and cricket. It’s an established connection. We try to carve out an idea that only Dream11 can own though. That is a conscious endeavour. Beyond that, we tip our hats to the sport and the fan of the sport in our communication.”

The series of ads are full of relatable moments like when Dhoni hits a full toss which goes and hits a scooter, and he rejoices screaming that he hit a boundary, the others gang up against him saying he is out, pointing out the gully cricket rules. Iyer adds that during the making of the ad, Rohit Sharma opened up and narrated on-field incidents that most cricket fans may remember seeing. “That is goosebumps guaranteed. I think when you see people like MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, it is fans like us who get nostalgic. Epic innings start to flash in front of our eyes. The most incidents we heard about the Indian cricket were from Rohit Sharma. He enthralled us with stories about how it actually feels to face the fastest bowlers in the world. Bumrah bowling underarm was a sight to see. They all narrated stories of their early days of cricket at their clubs and academies.”

The ad totally captures the essence of gully cricket and tries to imply that rules of gully cricket are the same for all, no matter how big a star. And while one can’t play gully cricket for real yet, Dream11 IPL is back. 

Talking of his experience on the sets, Iyer concludes, “Honestly, it’s an experience one can’t really express. It’s just the idea that the finest sportsmen in the world are shooting with you through the day. A day off for them. A day of work for us. Days we won’t forget for the rest of our lives!”

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