Mandira in Max limelight with 'Extraaa Innings' ad campaign

     MUMBAI: With elaborate plans up its sleeves every time a cricket tournament comes up, be it in terms of new ad campaigns or innovative programmes, Max leaves no stone unturned to sell its property to consumers and at the same time create interest too.


The Videocon Cup, which recently concluded in Holland, may have been a dampener (literally) but it hasn't deterred Max' spirits. The special events and movies channel is quite upbeat about the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy which will start in England on 10 September. And obviously, elaborate plans have been made. An extensive outdoor ad campaign accompanied by two TVCs and a music video have been rolled out for the same. Print ads will appear as D-Day draws nearer. Radio as a medium hasn't been left out either.


What had been till now a serious business with sports veterans offering their comments and giving an analysis of the game, became a more fun business as Max came into the foray with the concept of Extraaa Innings a couple of years back with the World Cup. Now, even as the ICC Champions Trophy nears, Bedi's hoardings are sprawled all over the city of Mumbai and the TVC is also being aired on the channel.

The coy act... the Extraaa cover effect!

The ads, conceptualised by Euro RSCG, has Bedi posing at the luscious Mohali Stadium in Chandigarh at various field positions like 'Long Leg' and 'Extra Cover' and one has Bedi at the 'Nets'. Innovatively done, the pictures for the campaign have been shot by ace photographer Atul Kasbekar.

Long legs Bedi... having a ball!

Speaking on the same, a buoyant Max vice-president marketing and commercial Tushar Shah says, "For the ICC Champions Trophy, we decided to create a campaign for this hugely popular programme. By taking a refreshing creative route and using our talents like Charu Sharma, Mandira Bedi and Kapil Dev in their different moods, having fun and celebrating life to bring out the spirit and appeal of Extraaa Innings. The campaign - on-air and off-air is exactly what Extraaa Innings is all about - celebration, fun, 'deewanapan' and passion and of course loads of humour."

Euro RSCG vice president (creative) Ashok Karnik said, "Any communication should fulfill one basic requirement: It should be refreshing! There is already a clutter out there in the outdoor segment. We had to be different and interesting. So we thought, how about making cricket glamorous! We treated it like fashion. The result is a tongue-in-cheek campaign."

Of the two new TVCs, one has Mandira having a ball in the rain and the other is called 'Ala Re' which captures the mood of the common man in various situations revolving around cricket and the passion behind the game. Says Shah, "Extraaa Innings is ultimately all about celebrating and rejoicing the spirit of cricket and life around it. The TVC captures it by using rain as a metaphor for celebration and a harbinger of all good things in life. Be it the purist or the mass viewer, the spot captivates all by immersing them in an experience of gay abandon, which is the inner essence of Extraaa Innings."

Get set with the net!

While conceptualising the ad campaign, Max didn't want to go the cricket way. While in India, the game is synonymous with passion, frenzy, excitement and celebration. So what they did was add the glamour quotient in their ads, which no one else had ever captured, at least not while advertising for a cricket tournament or a cricket based show. Says Shah, "This campaign shows Mandira in a glamorous outfit, but the copy line talks about cricket. The juxtaposition of this copy with the visual drama brings a chuckle and is a perfect blend of cricket with glamour."

On the other hand, the music video, which the channel conceived stars Charu Sharma (looking adorable), Kapil Dev, Mandira Bedi and of course the Gully Cricket ad and Pepsi 'Toss Ka Boss' kid - Sameer Khan. With an amazing background score, the video captures the mood of these celebrities as they are shown playing cricket on a beach. While initially the music video will air on Sony, Max and the local cable channels; talks are on with various music channels to air the video. Max is also looking at having the music score played on the various local radio stations. Talking 'passionately' on the same, Shah says, "Using music as a language that is universal, it's an effort to break through the clutter and touch the hearts of millions who follow the game."

Also, a Kapil Dev mobile game is being readied by the channel just like Sony had done for Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahi. Plus ringtones of the music video and the ALA Re' promo are also in the offing.

Max has already treaded where no one else has with it's original campaign which had universal appeal. Now it looks all set to go that extraa mile.

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