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Editor's Take

7 Cricket World Cup Ads that Hit a 6

We are celebrating the spirit of World Cup by taking you down the memory lane with some of the most remarkable brand ads.

With the Cricket World Cup 2019 just round the corner, the fans are gearing up for the most prestigious battle in the game of cricket. And we are all ready to fuel the Hindustani in us, effusing patriotism, unity, passion and prayer.

As they say, Cricket is not just another sport but a religion, there are plenty of brands and advertisers that bleed blue too, banking upon the popularity of the sport. The brands during this time try to eat a slice of all the action, trying to bring in the maximum traction and attention to their products and services. As per the reports of GroupM, the World Cup of 2015 observed an ad spend of nearly Rs. 1200 crores. It is expected that this year’s World Cup will be a major player in boosting the marketing spend (on ground, team sponsorship, athlete management, and media spends) too.

Well, we may not manage to remember every great performance of our favorite cricket stars, but here are some of the World Cup ads that hit a 6, transcend time and are eternally evergreen. Their slogans, content and music still resonates with us and are fondly remembered. Have a look…

1. Pepsi- Change the Game

Along with being the official global partner for the ICC Word Cup 2011, Pepsi unveiled one of its most iconic campaigns by far- “Change the Game”. The series featured MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Peitersen, T Dilshan and Harbhajan Singh in five different TVCs. The intelligent choice of choosing these cricketers was based on their unique personas that we often witness on screen. Each TVC mirrored the sportsperson’s respective character.

The idea of the campaign revolved around how creatively the youth has influenced their favorite cricket shots- Dhoni’s Helicopter, Kevin’s Switch Hit, Harbhajan’s Doosra, Sehwag’s Upper Cut and Dilshan’s Dilscoop. The aim was to ignite excitement and passion and challenge the face of orthodox and conventional methods while playing the game. The brand here signified the fearless voice of uninhibited youth and intended to stand as the unorthodox face of the modern game.

Also Read Pepsi’s Fading Marketing Glory, a Lesson for the Contemporaries?

2. Hero Honda- Dhak Dhak Go, India Go

The then Hero Honda had always built a reputation of selling bikes on their Indian-ness. They often painted their promotions on the lines of patriotism which they associated with their bikes.

With their slogan ‘Dhak Dhak Go India”, its 2011 World Cup ad was no different. Along with celebrating the victorious trajectory of the Indian Cricket team, the ad spurred motivation and fostered strength. The undying support of Indian cricket fans was evident with people cheering from different walks of life. I quite liked the amalgamation of their product with the energy of cricket fans. It was smooth and powerful at the same time.

3. Nike- United by Blue

From the street to the stadium, the nation of blue regained world dominance after 28 years. The same was celebrated with Nike’s 2011 World Cup commercial.

The brand joined the bandwagon by logically tweaking the Bleed Blue campaign with ‘United by Blue’. From aspiration of every gully cricketer in India to the passionate fans, the ad hoped to give an expression to that passion. Additionally, Nike’s brand’s natural property of being a sports brand made it for a smooth sail, making it one of the successful ads.

Read Best Marketing Campaigns Of All Times- Are You Giving The Next Hit?

4. FeviQuick- Todo Nahi Jodo

Feviquick’s Todo Nahi Jodo ad around the ICC World Cup 2015 was sheer brilliance and it is not the first time that Pidilite impressed us. The setup showcased the famous Wagah Border’s Closing Ceremony, a daily military activity.

Feviquick successfully played around the eternal rivalry between India and Pakistan and cut down the overly hyped surrounding during the two counties’ match. This subtle humor portraying an amicable bond between the playing nations was a genius attempt to unite the two nations.

For Prasun Kumar, Marketing Head, Magicbricks, his vote goes to Feviquick Ind-Pak ad. Below are the reasons –
1. It’s based on a simple insight – the divide between the two countries / people.
2. It plays it up beautifully with visual high of Wagah border set up  and the ceremony.
3. It integrates the product proposition seamlessly into the script.
4. It let’s the brand claim a higher space with the cause of Peace being seen as championed by it.
5. It is highly contextual as the rivalry comes out nowhere better than on cricket ground. Thereby it plays up & uses the emotions exemplarily and makes a strong emotive connect.
6. It carries forward the brand’s signature style of advertising (simple stories told dramatically) without letting the grandness of the event empower it

5. Adidas- Bring It On

This has to be one of the bravest and grittiest ads. It showcases the god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, reluctant to bog down by all the negativity around. With statements like “it’s a young man’s game” and “he needs to reinvent himself”, he refuses to get affected.

The film showcased training montages of the cricketer who is fueled with ferocity and intensity, determined to prove the critics wrong. He in turn continues to play with the same grace and calm and gears up for the game. The ad film beautifully captured his belief of his work speaking on his behalf, just as we perceive him off-field.

6. Star Sports- #WontGiveItBack

One of my most favorite Word Cup campaigns has to be #WontGiveItBack by Star Sports itself. The campaign marked the young nation’s attitude and mood for the 2015 World Cup. The film features a plethora of Indian cricketers. Its second ad film observed Dhoni walking towards MCG, where the finals were supposed to be played.

The ad disseminated the idea of portraying India as the ultimate defending champions. The whole idea was – when it comes to aggression, we will give it back but we won’t give the World Cup back.

7. Appy Fizz

Appy Fizz stayed true to its brand image “A cool drink to hang out with” in its 2007 World Cup commercial. With its slogan “’happy to stalk you in your living room this World Cup’, the brand managed to personify itself as cool and enthusiastic, synonymous to the youth.

It might have not been the best of Appy Fizz ads, but it did deliver the message quickly and quite impactfully.

I am sure you all must be eagerly awaiting the ICC World Cup. Save the dates. Sledging begins from May 30, 2019. Let’s bleed blue again!