MUMBAI: The countdown to the world’s biggest sporting event – FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil – has well and truly begun with official broadcaster of the tourney in India, Sony SIX, announcing its new marketing campaign christened ‘Live the Magic.’
Actor-football enthusiast John Abraham has been roped in as the face of the campaign which draws upon the global obsession with the game.
Ask Sony Six business head Prasana Krishnan about the idea behind the campaign and he says: “The World Cup is the largest event. When one thinks of Brazil, one gets the image of celebration, glamour and extravaganza. It is about the whole community coming together. From the viewership perspective, it brings non-football viewers and engages them with the entire community. In a single film, it captures all images of football.”
‘Live the Magic’ opens with Abraham donning a mask of Brazil’s sensational striker Neymar Jr. and stepping onto the street, where he is joined by other fan boys wearing assorted masks of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and France’s Ribery. The entourage gets larger as it snakes through the streets, replicating the feel of Brazil’s carnival parade. A riot of colours, the film captures the essence of Brazil through its beaches, narrow streets, colourful houses and music.
On the choice of Abraham, Krishnan says, “John relates to flair and glamour. It is his versatility that syncs with our channel’s belief of making content inclusive and entertaining for everyone, deeming him the right fit for our campaign. He is also very knowledgeable about football.”
The creative agency behind ‘Live the Magic’ is Havas Worldwide while it has been directed and filmed by Prashant Issar from Tubelight fims.
Elaborating on the campaign, Havas Media executive creative director Vivek Rao says, "The paper mache masks bring a distinctive visual element that has all the carnival cues about it. By combining the two, we captured the essence of Brazil and the carnival feel that it would bring to the FIFA world Cup. All this is reflected with the energy, passion, music and crowd participation in the film, urging people to watch the magic unfold on Sony Six." Interestingly, the scene where football is being played on the beach was shot at Aksa beach in Mumbai and the whole set-up of Brazil’s streets was also re-created within maximum city.
Coming to the event itself, FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil will kick off on 12 June and will have two stages, with the group stage featuring 32 nations battling it out from 12 June to 26 June. The knockout stage will start from 28 June and conclude with the FIFA World Cup Final match on 13 July. The matches will be telecast at 9:30 pm in India and the channel hopes to capture the primetime audience. For now, Sony Six is also looking at third party broadcasters. The channel will also roll out a 360 degree campaign across television, print, radio, digital, outdoor, on-ground, mobile, BTL and out-of-home. The entire campaign will last for three weeks and will begin from the last week of the Indian Premiere League. Out-of-home campaigns will be seen in at least 10 cities. TVC’s will be pan-India. The channel will soon announce the brands it has on board but Xolo is confirmed as of now.
During the last World Cup, the viewership numbers were 65 million, but during this World Cup, Krishnan expects the number to touch 125 million in India, as trends show an increase in football viewership in India. This he says the channel will use to build a strong audience base.