ESS is ‘Housefull’ for T20 WC

MUMBAI: Generally cricket and Bollywood compete fiercely with each other for viewers attention. However with ESPN Star Sports’ (ESS) campaign for the Twenty20 World Cup, they have become bedfellows.

The broadcaster has tied up with the film Housefull. This is the third time that ESS has joined hands with Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, following Mujhse Shaadi Karoge and Heyy Babyy. The film and the Twenty20 World Cup start on 30 April. 
Two TVCs have been created. In one of them, the stars of the film - Akshay Kumar, Lara Dutta and Riteish Deshmukh - are cheering the Indian team when it does well and exclaiming in disappointment when mistakes are made on the field. In the end they utter the campaign’s tagline which is ‘Josh Badega Jab World Cup Mein Desh Ladega’.

Explaining the concept of the campaign, ESS senior director marketing Nirmal Dayani notes that when Indian cricketers fight for the nation, passion rises and hits the roof. The campaign talks about this fight for pride. It is different from the campaign done for last year’s Twenty20 World Cup which was more combative in nature because India was defending the title.
When asked about why the campaign was being released a little over two weeks before the start of the event, Dayani notes that the aim was to have an intense burst closer to the property and drive fan affinity. The advantage is that there is no need to build awareness about the property per se. He concedes that the hype being generated by the IPL both on and off the field will mean that ESS has a task on its hands in terms of getting viewers’ attention. “Our focus will be on building fan engagement. We are doing above and below the line activities.”
Apart from print and radio, the cinema halls and malls will also be used. The broadcaster will air spots in cinema halls and also run a contest. "This could send winners to the West Indies. The modalities are being finalised and sponsors will be roped in for this," Dayani says.

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