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SPN India cranks up IPL 10 campaign with fan frenzy films

MUMBAI: How do you celebrate a tenth birthday? Well, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) India, which has been airing the edge-of-the-seat action filled Indian Premier League for the past 10 years, has chosen to do with a campaign “10 saal aap ke naam”.

“SPN and Vivo IPL have had a great journey, so far. Over the last nine years, we have seen the tournament grow in terms of stature, viewership and the buzz that it creates, and, hence it was only logical to make the tenth year a grand celebration. The marketing campaign borrows from real life insights on how viewers of Vivo IPL engage and involve themselves with the game. We believe that the fans are instrumental in making this tournament the mega blockbuster that it is, and that is why this year’s campaign is an ode to the Vivo IPL Fa. This campaign is the way of saying thank you to millions of people who made IPL what it is,” says Sony Max cluster senior EVP and business head Neeraj Vyas.

This year’s matches are to be telecast on Sony Max, Sony Six, and Sony ESPN.

Thus, a series of six films have been filmed and created encapsulating the fervor and madness of fans across gender, generations and geographies. The films celebrate various types of fans, be it the ‘Antaryami Fan’ who, year after year, makes predictions with confidence and even though all his predictions do not come true, he does not deter from making them again and again; the ‘Vehemi fan’ who fears that if he watches the match his team will lose so every time his team plays he is seen standing outside the door, be it a restaurant, a store or even his own house and the ‘Under Pressure fan’ who will postpone even nature’s call and be uncomfortable but will not budge from the television screen till the last ball is delivered.

The campaign will run in 4-5 languages -- English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu. “The Tamil feed grew enormously last year. Twenty per cent of numbers came from Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry which is very encouraging,” informs Vyas.

SPN India has brought in top drawer talent for its final innings with the IPL (Its rights deal with the BCCI is ending this year and a fierce bidding exercise between Star, SPN, Dsports, and Amazon is expected to take the price up to stratospheric levels.)

DDB Mudra was behind the creative of the campaign, while the films were helmed by noted ad film director Hemant Bhandari of Chrome Pictures Media. The anthem was composed under the baton of music composer duo, Salim- Sulaiman, and singer, Benny Dayal belted out the vocals.

With phrases like “Mahaul sajatey, Haal batatey, Halla machatey”, the Vivo IPL anthem salutes the passion of the zealot who passionately follows the game and cheers every four and six and fall of wicket

The campaign will roll out on other media outlets too. News and regional channels are expected to be tapped into more. But most importantly is the swathe of channels that the network boast of today, reveals Vyas. “Last year when we started the campaign for season 9, the network had 17 channels and now we have 30 channels under Sony umbrella. We have popular channels. But, we will buy some (slots on the) regional (channels) for sure.”

The good news for the SPN India is that it has managed to lock in 13 sponsor for IPL season 10. Among these figure: Vivo, Amazon and Vodafone as the co-presenters, CEAT Tyre, wire maker Polycab, Make My Trip, Vimal Paan Masala, Yamaha, Frooti, Voltas, Havells, Parle- products and Yes Bank. And, it looks to be on target to rake in Rs 1,300 crore through sponsorships.

Vyas says that there was fear that prime minister Narendra Modi demonetisation drive might impact advertisers enthusiasm to put in top dollar. “But, the IPL has such a high recall value that you can’t go wrong is what advertisers have told us and that is why the 13 sponsors,” he expresses.

A media veteran says that the creative peg that SPN India has taken is clearly going to connect with cricket fans in India and worldwide.

“Already the player auction saw some high-ticket prices being coughed up by the teams for certain players,” says she. “And, if Sony is going to stoke up the fan frenzy by airing the fan films showing stereotypes with high frequency and reach, one can expect the temperature and viewership for the IPL to only go up this year. Now if only the teams on the field work well to have close finishes, and Sony will be laughing all the way to the bank.”

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