Sony Picture Networks' FIFA campaign: Goal or no goal?

The 75 second spot highlights the passion and excitement of Indian fans supporting their favourite teams has garnered SPN over 2,733,835 views on YouTube

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: May 29, 2018 8:57 AM

With just few days for FIFA 2018, it should be no surprise that the FIFA fever is gripping brands. Being the biggest sporting extravaganza, it presents brands and marketers to go all out and promises an opportunity to turn things around if tapped in correctly. Sony Picture Networks too launched the first-cut of its campaign #Meridoosricountry for the 30-day countdown of the much awaited 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The 75 second spot which highlights the passion and excitement with which Indian fans support their favourite teams at this mega-event has already garnered SPN over 2,733,835 views on YouTube (until the time of writing this article).

The brand campaign conceptualized by Culture Machine explains what really happens to football fans in India when the World Cup kicks in and how we pledge loyalty of another country. The film was shot across the country, especially in football crazy states like Goa, Kerala and West Bengal.

exchange4media chatted with Kedar Teny, senior VP marketing and OAP - sports at Sony Pictures Networks to understand the over-arching thought and behind-the-scenes. Teny said the starting point of the campaign was that FIFA is a big property. “Football is one of those sports where we don’t have a representation at the highest. When we saw the data we had, we realized that there is a football audience and there is a FIFA audience. We started to understand what really triggers and motivates this bunch and shared these insights with the agency,” he said.

Hit or miss?

Marketing and advertising who spoke to exchange4media lauded the campaign for tapping the right insight. Says Anadi Sah, Group Creative Director, Isobar India, “I was introduced to this campaign by real audience who are not from our industry. It was in my school chat group, and we all recollected and discussed the matches and moments listed at length. #MeriDoorsiCountry campaign exhibits the real power of great storytelling. The first film exquisitely testifies the audience sentiments around FIFA world cup whereas the second one stirs emotion and takes the audience back in time. I believe the campaign is built on an enthralling insight around a sport that unifies around 3.5 billion fans around the globe. It resonates well with every soccer fanatics who trade-offs various activities and habits during this period. Both the announcement and call to entry film is splendidly scripted and executed. I look forward to other UGC films from the campaign as well.”

Jatin Punamiya, Account Director – FoxyMoron seconds that. "This ad is a great example of how a simple insight can do wonders. Mostly brands end up overthinking when it comes to big ticket events like the football World Cup. It always used to be about the event and not about the passion they have for the teams. Tapping the passionate support fans have for other countries within the growing footballing community in India is a first when it comes to promoting the football World Cup,” opines Punamiya.

Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEO, Mirum is also all praises for this one. “This would have been just another FIFA campaign if the brand wouldn’t have adopted this route of getting India into the picture with the element of ‘Meri Doosri Country.’ This one interweaves the spirit of FIFA beautifully,” he points out.

Saurabh Uboweja International Brand Expert and CEO Brands of Desire opines that while the campaign itself is beautifully crafted and touches the emotional cord of fans, what is even more commendable is the effort to localize the content and experience for Indians, especially at a time when the Indian soccer team is currently ranked at 97 by FIFA. “Marketers are smart enough to leverage the fast improvement in the level of soccer India is playing now,” contends Uboweja.

Agency - Culture Machine
Creative team - Jigar Fernandes, Rohan DSouza, Srijan Shukla, Sandesh Mangaonkar, Jeremy John
Account management - Sapna Bangera
Production house - Radhika Produces Films
Producer - Radhika Sawhney
Director - Jigar Fernandes
DOP - Satchit Paulose
Music - Karan Kulkarni
Editor - Shahnawaz Mosani

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