Star Shakes a Leg In The Run-up To The World Cup 2019

It started almost six months ago with a save-the-date digital spot and now, with a campaign that throws in all the familiar tropes about the game (impassioned fans) and host Britain (the Queen and the crown), Star India is spinning the wheels on its marketing campaign for the month-and-a-half long tournament that kicks off on May 30. It has a total of seven regional sports channels that will broadcast the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup this time. And a spokesperson informs that soon there will be a lot more buzz, with fresh ads and promotions around key matches, that will raise the pitch for the Cup even further.

Gautam Thakar, CEO Star Sports said, “The ICC Cricket World Cup is regarded as the most prestigious prize in World Cricket both, by players and viewers. Bringing the competitive element that every country holds during this tournament; the campaign showcases the very nucleus of the sport and how every team is going to England to get their hands on the Crown of Cricket. With more fan films in the pipeline, Star India is excited to bring the #CricketKaCrown theme alive.”

The campaign has been conceptualised and created by Ogilvy & Mather. The aim was to capture the passion of the average cricket fan in a country that famously treats the game like religion, says the team that worked on it. Unlike the 2015 Mauka-Mauka campaign for the previous World Cup, however, this one does not talk about specific inter-team rivalries and although it has a refrain that implies that the ‘cup will be ours’ it has yet to find the same resonance that the previous one did. So far the response on social media has been tepid with several ad veterans saying that they had heard nothing about the new campaign.

According to many, the World Cup campaign will take some time to warm up, given that the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) has held fans’ attention for a long time. But others differ saying that the World Cup has a larger and dedicated fan base, independent of the IPL. Either way, the IPL is being seen as a benchmark for the ad rates that the broadcaster expects to charge for the World Cup.

According to industry estimates, Star managed to bring in Rs 18-20 lakh for a 10-second spot for the final IPL match. The broadcaster refused to confirm the numbers, but experts believe that it will be tough act to follow. A lot will depend on the way the tournament unfolds and the Indian performance. A few early losses and the rates may plunge and on the other hand, a win could push up the numbers significantly.

Given the interest that the India matches are likely to generate, the broadcaster has managed to sell almost 70 per cent of the ad-inventory on these matches, so far. It is the non-India fixtures that may prove difficult to sell at a premium.

Star said that the ICC Cricket World Cup needs no introduction. The campaign, it said was the best way to capture the excitement and anticipation that every cricket fan in the country is familiar with.

The ads were first released in Hindi and the same creative has been adapted to other languages as well. Going into the tournament, the network has signed 35 advertisers for the tournament including brands like PhonePe, Byju’s, MRF, Policy Bazaar, Paisa Bazaar, Amazon, Royal Stag, Dream 11, Uber, Pernod Ricard, Mondelez, Acko General Insurance and CEAT Tyres.―Business Standard

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