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IPL 2021 Brandwagon: Ads that generated buzz

This year too IPL brings with it an assortment of quirky ads, with brands trying to up their game.

MUMBAI: It's not without reason that cricket is considered a religion in India – nothing can whip up mass fervour like this sport. And what could have proved this better than the opening match of Vivo IPL 2021, which clocked, believe it or not, a colossal 10 billion minutes of viewership on Star India network.

Thus it’s a no brainer that ad spots for the cricket league are selling like hot cakes at up to Rs 14-15 lakh for 10 seconds. At last count, Star TV had roped in 18 sponsors. With the IPL now in full swing, life is good for the brands who have signed onboard, pandemic or no pandemic. The league has taken over people’s minds and hearts off the virus as the official national pastime… well, at least while the matches are on!

The IPL also brings with it an assortment of marvellous ads every year, with brands trying to up one another’s creative game and exploit the full potential of this incredibly engaging event. 

This year too has not disappointed ad-watchers.

Here’s a list of brands who got it right and found ways to create and curate content that cut through the clutter:

JustDial’s JDMart: India ka B2B marketplace

Just Dial has dialled up its entertainment quotient, making full use of its brand ambassador, Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh’s skillsets. The actor, who is notorious for his repertoire of quirky looks and accents, brings on his talent to promote the company’s b2b marketplace JD Mart. Taking on various avatars and accents of a dealer, manufacturer and supplier of different goods he talks about how the app has made his life easy by enabling him to reach a wider audience and sell his products without any hassle.

Dream11 : ‘Team hai toh mazaa hai’

E-sports app Dream11 has also upped its IPL game this time around with a series of films released in the last two weeks. Featuring an array of Vivo IPL cricketers including MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer the adverts are rather interesting to watch. Each of the films showcases a couple or more of the professionals in endearing gully cricket scenarios. The cricketers show off their acting chops, in various situations playing cricket in their neighbourhood- on the terrace, on the streets, in pitch darkness on deserted alleys and even in a water-logged compound. Old popular film jingles play in the background  while the team gets around minor hurdles to their game. The message behind the fun-filled creatives: Team hai toh mazaa hai.

Cred spills celebrity secrets:

One player in the IPL brandwagon which has come out stronger and better than last year is the credit payment app Cred, which has been hogging a lot of attention for its campaigns. Previously, while the brand did get noticed for its distinctive ‘not everyone gets it’ ads featuring veteran celebs it did not win much favour with the audience, as this time. They got off on the right foot with their creative featuring ex-cricketer Rahul Dravid. The ad showing the mild-mannered cricketer losing his cool in the midst of Bengaluru traffic jam and proclaiming himself to ‘Indiranagar ka gunda’ got off to roaring start from the word go! It has sparked numerous memes and spinoffs and had everyone from Deepika Padukone  to Virat Kohli tweeting about it.

Post this, the brand has released two more campaigns one after another, featuring actor Jackie Shroff and Kumar Sanu, the popular playback singer from the 90s . The films depict Shroff, in no way known for his dancing skills, taking Zumba lessons while Sanu tries his hand at selling insurance, albeit musically.

Mobile Premier League (MPL):  ‘Hai Akal Khelo MPL’

Cashing in on the IPL fever, skill-gaming platform, Mobile Premier League (MPL), has also launched its latest campaign around the game. With the tagline ‘Hai Akal Khelo MPL’, the campaign features a humanoid brain as the protagonist, driving in the point that anyone with ‘akal’ (brains) can play the game.  

The three films released are a humorous play on the words of popular Hindi language idioms like ‘Akal badi ya bhains’, ‘Akal ke dushman’, and ‘Dimaag ghaas charne gaya hai’. The films push the central idea that one can create their fantasy team on the e-sports platform with basic know-how of cricket during the ongoing T20 tournament. MPL has roped in veteran actor Vijay Raaz for the films’ voice-overs.

Since the campaign first went live with the start of the IPL, fantasy cricket app has already seen one million new app installs.

As the marquee T20 tournament progresses, we cannot wait to see more brands get creative with their messaging.

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