Thursday, February 19, 2015


Vipin Nambiar,
The Times of India

Season of cricket begins… All focus is to the land of Kiwis and Kangaroos… Expecting some thunder down under !!!

Again for sports in India, nothing gets bigger than the Cricket World Cup and so for the mightier brands out here. Star India is all set to count it big this time with a diversified telecasting strategy. None ever dared to try it before, 2015 edition ICC WC will be available in 4 language channels and that too with the commentary in the respective regional languages. Kudos to the idea and execution team. States with strongest regional flavours like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Karnataka will get to enjoy the local flavor and style this season. This is apart from the Hindi and English telecasting by Star Sports. The idea behind this whole regional proliferation may be; is to target the varied audience down south and in West Bengal who are not so good good with Hindi... Star Network's acquisition of Asianet group of channels in Kerala & Karnataka markets and their own channels Star Vijay and Star Jalsha paved way to endeavor this experimentation.

Commentaries in local slangs and localist approach will do wonders for the advertisers to reach the same audience in a different feel & experience altogether. And for Star Sports, more and more undiluted share of the advertising pie. A leading jeweler/textile brand in Kerala who don’t have presence outside Kerala can try his luck with cricket fanatics here without creating a big hole in his pocket, which otherwise will be difficult to get a cricket atmosphere to promote their brands… Similarly Airtel or Vodafone who have an exclusive campaign/offer for Bengalis can reach the same cricket fans without any spillage. Also options of a Malayalam/Tamil/Kannada or Bengali dubbed ad of same Hindi ads of YepMe Fashion, Maruti Cars or of Axis Bank would be a great strategy to target regionally. In short, this whole trend can have a better aggregation of TV audience. So these permutations and combinations lead to umpteen opportunities for Star Sports this season through this well thought regionalizing of World Cricket. This trend would be the first in World Broadcasting History.

All said and done, the biggest question remain as it is, would all this effort last the whole tournament or is it just about Team India’s journey in the WC Campaign ?!!! We have seen the debacle in 2007 Windies WC where brands pulling out their campaigns. This is why World Cup Cricket has always been the biggest gamble in brand investments, even bigger than the stock market speculations. So its just not the hopes of billion cricket fans in India, hopes of numerous Indian brands as well… 2011 Cricket World Cup had generated 90% share of Indian TV viewership, hope the trend continues this year as well.

So all set to a wonderful season of cricket. Announcement of 4K transmission, Gillete’s best ever TVC, the most hyped India vs Pak match and the funniest ad by Star sports, Ranbir’s ad for Lays Potato Wafers’ etc would definitely add more spice to the World’s biggest cricket scenario. 

Wishing best to all brand tie-ups and long live Indian Advertising Industry!!!

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