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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Cricket Fever Grips India

We were lucky enough to find ourselves in Delhi while India was in the grip of Cricket World Cup fever. It was all taxi drivers and brands were talking about. Mobile Operators, insurance firms and cement suppliers - everything had a cricket theme to its comms. A lot of it though felt like little more than badging. For example I'm not quite sure what made this a 'World Cup Menu'; Two campaigns though did stand out as much more than badging, even to an outsider 1. Pepsi's campaign placed some of the great players in the context of everyday life. KP's switch hit helps unload a mango cart. Dhoni's helicopter is put to use turning a water pump. 2. Nike's 'Bleed Blue' was a tubthumping scream of raw passion that captured the spirit every time Tendulakar and Sehwag went out to open the innings. It also played into the other obsession of India's youth - Facebook What was so good about these two campaigns was that they not only brought to life the spirit of the World Cup in India. They also brought to life the spirit of the international brand behind them. Pepsi's campaign had the spirit of their previous football World Cup stuff. Music and energy with sporting heroes in a real working rural setting in the host country. Nike and cricket might seem incongruous (at least in the West) but the campaign was pure Nike. Imbued with that same understanding of how much sport can mean to people. Here was a global brand in tune with local passions without ever losing its global identity. It was great to see these two global experts get their work around the World Cup so right. Both felt like they added to, rather than jumped on the back of, World Cup fever. Others could certainly learn from them in the run up to 2012