Star Sports' ICC World T20 'Taiyaari' campaign draws mixed response

MUMBAI: Come March and cricket mania is all set to hit the country yet again. The ICC World Twenty20 will kick-start on 8 March, 2016 and official broadcaster Star Sports has come up with a campaign to pull in viewers.

While last year’s catchy ‘Mauka Mauka’ campaign for the ICC World Cup was a clear winner, the latest one for the ICC World Twenty20 with the tagline ‘Taiyaari Kar Lo’ has drawn mixed reactions from creative heads from the advertising fraternity.

Star Sports had rolled out teaser ads on television in December last year playing somewhat on the lines of superstition or good luck charm… call it what you may. The teaser ad saw a tenant returning to his previous landlord’s house wanting to rent the place as it was there that he had lived when India won the ICC World Cup 2011. The ad ended by asking viewers to get ready - Taiyaari Kar Lo - for the upcoming tourney.

The latest ad in the campaign to hit screens featuring none other than the Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his celebrity stylist Sapna Bhavnani also plays to the same tune. The ad has created quite a buzz among the digital audience as well.

The ad shows Dhoni brainstorming with Bhavnani over his next hairstyle and look for the upcoming tournament. Bhavnani plays around with some extreme and some quirky looks for the sports star, each time getting a raised eyebrow or a witty retort from Dhoni on how it won’t work with his fans. Until finally, Bhavnani draws out a wig for Dhoni, asking him to maybe sport the ‘Mahi’ look from the World Cup when India won.

The campaign lives up to its name, asking the audience to get ready  for the tournament that will ensue from 8 March, 2016.

The ad is a must watch for all Dhoni fans, who follow his style funda, and also get some insight from the lady who does the ultimate magic.

When asked about their take on the new Star Sports campaign for the tournament, several creatives from the industry felt that it’s a refreshing new way to treat a cricket tournament. Not going the ‘anthem’ way definitely poses limitations and challenges to come up with ways to connect with the audience with the same fervour.

Given that it is a campaign on ICC World T20, one can’t help compare it to the magnus opus that Bubblewrap Film’, ‘Mauka Mauka’ was. It not only won several awards but also won millions of hearts.

“Seldom are there advertisements that touch our hearts and instil that natural feel, which ‘Mauka Mauka’ did. It captured everyone’s imaginations very quickly and the catchy jingle was on everyone’s lips. While ‘Taiyaari Kar Lo’ has handled the subject in an entirely different manner, it does seem a bit low key placed against ‘Mauka Mauka,’” shared an advertising industry veteran.

Industry insiders, however, also feel that it’s unfair to pit one against the other. “‘Mauka Mauka’ was an instant hit. Ideas like that come very rarely and when they do, they create a legacy of sorts. Hence it becomes extremely challenging to do something in the same category and one up it. But this constant comparison may also blind us from looking into the charm of the new campaign,” opines another executive from an ad agency.

Nonetheless, giving the new campaign the benefit of doubt, he also added, “But it’s too early to comment on it. This could be a warm up to a more elaborate campaign, which may culminate in an anthem like creative as well. So we should wait and watch for now.”

How this creative saga pans out over the next couple of months remains to be seen.

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