AdsOnIPL21: Akal Badi ki Ads?

14 Apr,2021


Since there are enough and more new ads around IPL 2021, Vikas Mehta comes up with a bonus add-on to his weekly column


By Vikas Mehta

Vikas MehtaTrust my Gen Z single sample to ask me a pointed question during the IPL. How do the Indian  cricketers get to shoot ads? Aren’t they in some bubble and get transferred from one bubble to another? We hear them moaning about the mental agony of the bubble, but every few months, they do manage to somehow augment their incomes with new ad campaigns. Bubbles notwithstanding.

This re-view is dedicated to the new ads during the IPL featuring our cricketers. Past and present.  Last weekend the match between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings was touted as the match between guru and shishya. Dhoni vs Pant. I carried this imaginary rivalry into the ad world while watching the ad for Indigo Paint with Dhoni and then the one with JSW Steel bars (boring, uninvolved, irrelevant category) with neither me nor my Gen Z sample being the intended target. Frankly, the brand decision in both categories, paints and steel bars, is heavily dependent on the middle men and of course our budget, but paints has come a long way and why can’t steel bars hope to go the paint way. Specially when JSW is one of the main sponsors of DC.

For me, this battle was won by the shishya. The two JSW ads have managed to not only exploit Pant’s personality but have also communicated the brand benefit woven into an involved storyline. The guruji’s ad unfortunately was a damp squib which was content with the typical celebrity formula. Show Dhoni in the ad and the rest will follow. And this in an ad for floor paints. Usually all paint ads are about walls. I think so much more could have been done with Dhoni and floor paint. My Gen Z sample  made another pertinent comment. So many Dhoni ads, he is an old man now (I guess I am vintage for her) shouldn’t the brand make his ads about his experience or his knowledge. Clearly the Gen Z sample is totally influenced by the Gen Z shishya.

I did re-view Dream 11 last time but as has been the case always, I am now swamped with more fantasy team ads. So, I turned to my Gen Z sample for help. Let it be known that she is an expert on fantasy team contests having participated and won in some EPL contests. For her Dream 11 was the Indian cricket team, My Circle 11 was Dada, MPL was Virat Kohli and was Yuvraj. Phew! Some clarity.

MPL though have not used Kohli this time. They have done a literal interpretation of the Hindi proverb “Akal badi ki bhains” (is the brain better or a buffalo! No disrespect to both, please!) and it seems that currently the bhains is winning. I liked the ad because it clearly implies that making your fantasy team is so easy that you do not need to use your brains  to make the team. And it in its own way does take a dig at those short ads for Dream 11 which have Dhoni asking people to use their brains not on buttering your boss or your father but on choosing a fantasy team on Dream 11. Nicely done. My Gen Z sample though did not agree with me. Because she had never heard of the Hindi proverb. You cannot win them all, I say.

My Circle 11 has roped in Ranveer Kapoor. Maybe Dada did not have enough time with his health issues, so Ranveer is now the co-anchor. And I do think I saw Rahane in one ad too. And me thinks that the ads have been done in a rush. Looked tacky and depended on Ranveer to announce a new promotion. But I do think that in the next few weeks we shall have more ads from My circle 11. I do hope so. Cannot re-view the current ones. What a waste of Ranveer, is the only comment from my Gen Z sample.

The Yuvraj led ads sounded familiar. Trust Gen Z sample to come to my rescue. She gently reminded me that the promotion was similar to My Circle 11 ads of beating the teams chosen by Dada, Watson, Rashid etc to win more money. Guess somebody has got me in plumb. Howzatt?

And before I sign off I thought I saw another fantasy team ad for a new brand which was being endorsed by K Rahul. My head is now totally spinning with so many fantasy team ads, all around cricket. All using cricketers, ex and present. But my Gen Z sample had the last word, better than watching phone ads or ecommerce ads or those perpetually smiling Dhoni ads.

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