Unacademy suspends IPL campaign; will return with refreshed version if league restarts
CMO Karan Shroff added the brand may also consider tweaking the ads if the league returns in September-October as speculated
As the IPL stands suspended for an indefinite period in the wake of several key players testing positive for the Covid-19, Unacademy has decided to put on a halt its running campaign for the series as it was curated to suit the game. However, all of its other marketing initiatives will continue to run without any changes.
Speaking about the same with exchage4media.com in a recent conversation, Unacademy CMO Karan Shroff said, “We support any decision that the BCCI takes in the favour of its players and the welfare of the league. We will be putting our IPL campaign on halt for now as it was crafted to be a part of the live experience and made sense running between the match overs.”
He added the brand might consider tweaking the ads a little if the series returns in September-October, as being speculated right now. “We will continue with the same flavour but might refresh it a little.”
Unacademy’s IPL campaign was a great attempt at ambush marketing -- conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, produced by Radhika Films, and Directed by Suresh Triveni -- having a commentary box banter setup between commentators Harsha Bhogle-Sunil Gavaskar and Aakash Chopra-Virendra Sehwag.
The 15-second short clips, complemented by old IPL footage, created an impression of the match getting resumed after the commercial breaks. The commentators seemingly in the middle of match commentary start talking about Uncademy's offerings, leaving the audience amazed.
Speaking about the campaign, Shroff highlighted, “Our brief for the campaign was quite simple; we wanted to do something disruptive and break the clutter of so many great campaigns that run during the series.”
Further sharing some creative details into the process of shooting these ads, Shroff said that the commentary box set was to be made as authentic as possible, so they featured brand logos from all the sponsors in the background and used similar cameras that are otherwise present in the commentary box; so that the light, saturation, and colours, all appear authentic.
“We already had a great repository of on-ground footage from our last year’s IPL summary video, which we used here as well,” Shroff said.
He emphasised that while creativity and concept were the driving forces on the sets, the brand and production teams also ensured that the whole crew got tested for Covid before getting on sets, including the commentators. All necessary safety precautions were in place.
The campaign was well received by the netizens who kept the chatter around the brand alive on digital platforms, many calling it the best IPL campaign this year while some saw it as a nuisance.
Sehwag bhai unacademy ke ad me 4th wall break kar rahe?— Akshat Shrivastava/RTing Covid Resources (@akshxt_) April 14, 2021
Unacademy ads with Harsha & SunnyG are such nuisance!#IPL— Nish Navalkar (@YUVI_NISH) April 15, 2021
According to Shroff, the campaign did deliver great results for the brand with search volumes and platform registrations spiking up significantly. However, he refrained from disclosing any numbers.
He added that the Sachin Tendulkar campaign, which was launched a month before the IPL is also getting amazing traction online and has amassed a total of 129.8 million views across all social media platforms with 101 million on YouTube and 8.2 million on Twitter.
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