‘Idea behind ‘you hold the cards’ ad is to create awareness around poker as a skill sport’

Varun Ganjoo, Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Baazi Games, talks about their new campaign with Shahid Kapoor

e4m by Shantanu David
Published: Jul 4, 2022 8:44 AM  | 3 min read

While James Bond highlighted the exclusivity of high-stakes poker in Casino Royale, Indian online poker companies are attempting to bring the card game to the masses. On July 1, PokerBaazi.com launched a new brand campaign ‘you hold the cards’ featuring their newly signed brand ambassador actor Shahid Kapoor.

Varun Ganjoo, Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Baazi Games, said, “Poker is a sport, period. Poker is also a lot of fun. We are extremely thrilled with the launch of our campaign ‘You Hold the Cards’  and excited to have Shahid Kapoor as our flagbearer. The idea of this campaign is primarily to create awareness around poker as a skill sport which the brand film captures beautifully. This is a big step forward towards making poker a household game in our country. While our approach is digital-first, the campaign shall be promoted across all possible avenues aligned with our target audience.”

With the campaign ‘You Hold the Cards’, the brand aims to create awareness about poker as a skill-based sport, and establish that in poker, the game is under your control, and one can emerge victorious based on skills, determination, and right strategy.

“The idea is that anyone can play poker. Card games are a part of every Indian household, but poker still has this tag of exclusivity. Shahid, being such a talented actor, has done so many diverse roles in his career, and we felt that he’s the perfect person to reach out to a broad cross-section of audiences,” notes Ganjoo, recounting why the brand reached out to the Bollywood star. 

The campaign, designed and conceptualized by Wieden+Kennedy, is streaming across channels including social media, OOH, and OTT, among others.

India is emerging as one of the fastest growing gaming markets in the world, with a casual gaming populace that already outnumbers the entire population of the United States

“Abroad, poker tournaments are already streamed on different sporting channels on TV, and there is an entire ecosystem built around it. At Baazi Games, that’s the environment we’re trying to create. Poker as a game has so much room to expand and we want to show people that it is like any other sport. You have to practice, get better, and keep playing,” says Ganjoo.

PokerBaazi.com’s announcement of its association with Kapoor last week came at a time when the platform recently recorded a billion poker hands being played on its app since its launch in October 2014.

“Having now signed on Shahid, we’re going to be aggressively reaching out to the masses. Without getting into details, we are going to be launching plenty of unique advertorial content in the coming months as we reach out to different parts of the population and introduce them to this exciting sport,”  concluded Ganjoo.

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