IPL 8 campaign takes the safe route of uniting Indians 'emotionally'

Sony Max and Six have launched a three-phased campaign 'India Ka Tyohaar' for IPL’s latest edition. We explore the insights behind the campaign idea

e4m by Sarmistha Neogy
Updated: Apr 1, 2015 9:18 AM
IPL 8 campaign takes the safe route of uniting Indians 'emotionally'

After the conclusion of World Cup, it is now time for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to kick off. To keep cricket enthusiasts entertained and also create hype around the latest edition, the official broadcaster, Sony Max and Six have launched a creative campaign ‘India Ka Tyohaar’ which claims to be unique and different from the other IPL campaigns.

The campaign kicked off with a series of 3 prequels set in distinct situations of people’s life. As part of the second phase, an IPL 2015 anthem was released which was written by Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of DDB Mudra Sonal Dabral and composers Salim-Sulaiman were roped in for the music. In the third and the final phase, three TVCs have been released which attempt to capture the excitement that IPL brings.

The first TVC ‘Sweet Shop’ tells the story of a stern shopkeeper and a young boy. It is because of the match, the later manages to melt the owner’s heart, highlighting the message that with the IPL, now all differences will disappear. The ‘In-Laws’ TVC is a film which shows how women bring good luck to every household and also breaks the stereotype that mother-in-laws are not always evil. This TVC targets women IPL viewers who form a large pie in the viewership chart. The final TVC takes place at a college and shows two rival college groups who set aside their differences when it comes to supporting their ‘apni’ or own team at the IPL.

Click here to watch the TVCs:


Sweet Shop:

In laws:


Strategy & Creative Execution:

Speaking on the insights behind the 2015 campaign, Vaishali Sharma, VP, Marketing, Sony Max said, “IPL is an established property which has enjoyed great viewership till date. So our intention this year was to make it bigger and better. We were aware of the on-going cricket World Cup, but didn’t take it as a challenge, instead thought of making an IPL campaign which is not influenced by India’s performance at the World Cup. Also because of the unique format, IPL cuts across gender, geographies and generations. It also enjoys the highest viewership from women. It is not less than a festival or an annual event, which binds people together and unites heart.”

Sharma said that this year’s campaign is very different from the other seasons because it was intended to be different. “The objective was to strengthen the emotional affinity and to highlight to the viewers that there is no other sporting event which brings everyone together during the primetime. Also, in today’s world, when there are so much of divisiveness and differences crop up so easily, ‘India ka tyohaar’ promises to keep everyone united,” she said.

Commenting on the creative angle, Sonal Dabral, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra said, “It all started with the brain-storming session between Neeraj Vyas, Vaishali Sharma and our team. We know that cricket is considered like a religion in India which unites everyone. So when our thoughts and insights came into place we came up with the idea of comparing IPL with ‘India Ka Tyohaar’. If one has a look at this campaign, they will find that it captures the ‘Colours of Holi’, Passion of Diwali, the Joy of Christmas and the brotherhood of Eid.”

The IPL campaigns were released during the World Cup, so was it a challenge? Dabral said, “World Cup is extremely emotionally exhausting and people watch cricket with full fervour and passion. We took the challenge and decided to make our campaigns pan India and also highlight how different is IPL from any other cricket tournament. We rode on the ‘cricket wave’ to bring out the truth of IPL. In advertising, big ideas work, because they bring out the truth of the product and in this case it is the IPL.”

The campaign will stretch across a 4 week period till the launch of the tournament and will have a complete 360 degree roll out across mass media. A digital plan will be executed till the last day of the tournament.  

IPL Season 8 Vs previous campaigns:

In the last eight years, the creative strategy as well as the positioning of the IPL campaigns has undergone changes. It all started with the ‘Manoranjan Ka Baap’ campaign which positioned IPL as the biggest extravaganza in terms of entertainment and sport.

The high point of this year’s campaign ‘India ka tyohaar’ is that unlike the previous years, it is bent heavy on ‘emotion’. In the previous year, the campaign ‘Come on, Bulaava Aya Hain’ aimed to emphasise that irrespective of anything that takes place in our lives, the call of the IPL reigns supreme. A set of four films were made under the campaign.

‘Sirf Dekhneka Nahi’ was the punch-line of the 2013 campaign featuring Farah Khan, urging people to express themselves whenever a wicket falls or a boundary or a six is hit. It invited the audience to shed all inhibition and enjoy cricket. It was conceptualised by JWT and the music for the anthem ‘Dil Jumping Japang Jampak Jampak...gili gili ye’ was composed by the duo Vishal Shekhar. On asking Sharma, whether IPL 8 will have any celebrity faces, she said, “No, this year it will be only about viewers and how they view IPL. It is about people and their real feelings.”

However adlanders feel the campaign could have been more specific to IPL, instead of its generic tone. O.R.Radhakrishnan, Executive Creative Director, Enormous Brands said, “The take on ‘India ka Tyohaar’ is correct because IPL is considered like a festival in our country. However, I feel that the creatives could have been pushed a little further.  It was a generic cricket campaign which could have been used for any cricketing tournament, be it the World Cup or Asia Cup. But, if you compare it with the previous year’s campaign ‘Bulaava Aya Hain’, which was quite ‘tacky’ because it was open ended, this year it is much better.”

Yogesh Rijhwani, Associate Creative Director, Scarecrow Communication opined that “IPL 8 has taken a very safe creative idea. The ‘Sweet Shop’ despite its often seen plot, is somewhat likeable. The ‘In-laws’; leaves a sour taste. May be the husband should have been given a chance to redeem himself, like the rude shopkeeper. I feel that there have been better IPL campaigns in the past.”

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