Pak fan gets his 'mauka', what next?
The fate of the nation's most beloved cricket campaign hangs by a thread as Pakistan finally beat India in a World Cup match, the theme on which 'Mauka Mauka' hinged on
Since Pakistan managed to beat India in a world cup match on Sunday, the industry feels it would be right for the broadcaster to create something new and move ahead from ‘Mauka Mauka’
It has been six years since Star Sports gave the Indians one of the most iconic campaigns when it comes to cricket world cup here, ‘Mauka Mauka’, a heartening spoof on the rivalry that the country shares with its neighbour Pakistan on the cricket field.
The very first advertisement, created in-house by Star Sports team and produced by Bubblewrap Films, showcased the desperate wait of Pakistani cricket fans since 1992 to see Pakistan winning a world cup match against India. Vishal Malhotra, who reprised the role of Pakistani cricket fan waiting to burst crackers, became synonymous with the excitement across borders around India vs Pakistan matches during the world cup.
Over the next few years, the advertisement was rebooted with interesting storylines and anecdotes, sometimes also inviting controversies for its narrative and was much loved by the audience. In fact, fans across the border also created some independent videos to counter the popular campaign, the most famous being the ‘No issue, le lo tissue’, which was crafted after Pakistan beat India in the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017.
Most recently, the desperate Pakistani fan was seen searching for a good television with ‘buy one break one’ deal just before the opening match of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, between India and Pakistan. However, after several years of trying, Pakistan did manage to win its first world cup match against India by 10 wickets.
In response to the moment, Star Sports showcased the fan finally bursting the crackers in a small video.
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And now since the Pakistani troop has finally got the ‘Mauka’ which they were waiting for decades now, the industry believes t's time for the ‘Mauka Mauka’ guy to retire in glory.
Bang In the Middle Co-founder and Managing Partner Naresh Gupta says, “I feel the campaign had lost its sheen long back. It was great initially, became okay a few years later, and now it just seemed forced. But such is the time that anything jingoistic works well for the viewers. However, since Pakistan has finally managed to achieve the feat, the lack of which was the core concept behind the campaign, I think it’s time for Star Sports to retire the campaign.”
Grapes Digital COO & Strategy Head Shradha Agarwal also feels that it’s time for Star Sports to look at creating something new. “The exhilaration and enthusiasm levels of an India - Pakistan match is unmatched. The Mauka-Mauka ad films have always dialled up the excitement quotient while making the viewers smile. The ads are seen as a perfect blend of humour and creative banter between India and Pakistan cricket fans. It's a television commercial that has produced wholesome entertainment and has become a part of popular culture. The popularity of this series is attributed to India's winning streak that made these ads memorable. But now, after India's loss to Pakistan in the last T20 match, Start Sports should take a break from Mauka-Mauka and focus on creating something new. This can be a great opportunity for Star Sports to give the audience something fresh to see and create a new value proposition. Perhaps after some time, they can even bring it back on popular demand, it will only strengthen the ‘Mauka-Mauka’ ethos.”
FoxyMoron National Creative Director Dhruv Warrior is expecting to see an immediate response to the campaign by the lead character. “There is a lot that could happen here. Is one victory enough to satiate the man? Could he come back to get his own and have a dig at all the people who have had a go at him over the years? Or does he come back and celebrate the spirit of the sport? I think there is a wonderful opportunity here to explore multiple narratives around the main man. Mauka Mauka for new stories, one of those could also be him retiring happy and content.
“What I would do is have an immediate response ready. Something witty and smart that can give India a chance to hope as well. Perhaps he now eggs on India fans with 'Mauka Mauka'. It's a chance to have a friendly jostling between him and other characters. Perhaps in the future, the Mauka Mauka guy passes on his role to his kid and the story carries on. Like I said earlier, I see numerous opportunities here to create some funny feel-good stories. I personally have enjoyed the narrative and would love to see if it can be built upon. But only if that can be done without seeming like the narrative has been forcibly drawn out. Sometimes you need to recognize when the game is over and call it quits.”
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