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Pepsi ropes in Raghu & Rajiv for Crash the IPL TVC

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MUMBAI: Rajiv Laxman and Raghu Ram have garnered a cult following thanks to their histrionics on MTV Roadies. Now global cola giant Pepsi has roped in the terrible twins in a bid to stoke the voting instincts of online video guzzlers in India to help it decide which consumer generated commercials (as part of its Crash the IPL campaign) make the cut and make it on broadcast television. 

The duo has produced a commercial under the umbrella of their production house Monozygotic. The TVC is slated to go on air in the next day or two (on MAX and SIX respectively), though it has already made its debut on YouTube. 

Both Rajiv and Raghu have gained notoriety over the past decade as the very hostile audition hosts of MTV Roadies (which they quit late last year) who bludgeon contestants with their nastiness.  

The Pepsi TVC begins with the producer of a show tearing his hair out about the low audience ratings it is garnering. His team informs him that the ratings have fallen because the brothers have been extremely kind towards the contestants appearing for the auditions. And a flashback follows. Almost every participant sails through the brothers with them telling each one "What the Stress Yaar?" 

In the TVC, the producer then schemes with Rannvijay to help them get their trademark hostility back. He hides their Pepsi while they very sweetly select a contestant. When they discover their Pepsi is missing, they flip their lid and their nastiness erupts again to the delight of the producer and Rannvijay. The TVC ends with the tagline "It's beeping awesome."

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Laxman says, “When we got a call from Pepsi, we were overwhelmed and decided to be a part of the creative innovation. We decided to play around with our USP and come with something quirky and progressive and that’s how ‘What the stress’ came in.”

Adds Raghu Ram, “We are very excited to partner with Pepsi on the Crash the Pepsi IPL since it is a first of its kind property that empowers viewers to become content creators on both the TV and digital screens.”



The TVC, which was completely shot in Mumbai has been directed by Bollywood director E Niwas.  “It was made on an extremely shoestring budget as the major departments including the casts, cinematography, music were taken care of by friends who collaborated for free,” says Laxman. “Raghu and I have been in the creative space for more than 20 years and now we want to use our experience to provide creative solutions for brands, which will be interactive and modern and help them develop a strong youth connection. Creativity is evolving every day and as screens start to merge, brands will have to be more innovative and interactive. So I think creative innovations like Crash The IPL have  the potential to become a strong precedent," he adds.

Speaking about the launch of the new TVC, PepsiCo India Beverages senior director marketing – social Ruchita Jaitley says, “This ad film by Raghu and Rajiv definitely adds more spunk to the campaign and will mobilize consumers to go vote for their favourite ad. We are overwhelmed at the kind of response Crash the Pepsi IPL has seen so far. It has been amazing to see how consumers and fans have taken on the creative challenge and shown their love for the brand. This is an all-important phase for the campaign, as we now hand over the reins to the consumers. India will now decide the next winner of this campaign and we’re keen and excited to see how this will play out.”

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