First off, a big Congratulations to all fans of Indian Cricket. Our team has now reached the zenith of cricketing success, something which all of us would be proud of.
The Cricket World Cup is now over amidst a wave of euphoria spreading across the nation, with the Indian team achieving what 1.2 billion fans were hoping for, giving them stories to tell their grandchildren about!!
So what happened in the world cup from the viewpoint of the corporate marketeers? Who did well and who didn’t, and more importantly, who all can cash in on the bandwagon before it fades out (admittedly, it will take a long time for this victory to go out of our top-of-the-mind recall and hence it is still an opportunity presented to marketeers to dig tentacles deep into consumer psyche)
Who did well?
Some people used the world cup excellently, capitalizing on the hype and especially the wave towards the finals. Vodafone, with its 3G super-zoo-zoo series, Adidas with its ‘bring it on’ campaign, and Nike, with their Bleed Blue were among the successful ones. Bleed Blue, in fact was amongst the most successful campaigns of the lot, swarming across media, from television to the internet, from Facebook status messages to picbadges, everything was literally bleeding blue. This is the second time in a row that Nike has had a terrific campaign lined up for a major event, after the FIFA WC 2010. Sony too, used MS Dhoni effectively, splashing him across television channels and OOH Media. Hero Honda managed moderate success with its Dhak Dhak Go. Pepsi’s Change the Game campaign, with some classy and innovative TVCs did great to generate interest..
Apart from a lot of others who might not have gotten opportunities, there were some brands which ended up as positively miserable even though they had bought over opportunities to capitalize. LG, with its lame campaign of crowd-moves to support India, Castrol, with its truly pathetic usage of a licensed right to Sachin, and even Reebok, until it came out with the Dhoni-based campaign on Zigtech, were some brands which failed to do justice to the money spent in acquiring the correct licenses or brand ambassadors.
Perhaps a lot was also expected from Coca-Cola, especially after they signed on Sachin. But for some reason, the oft-anticipated campaign never rolled out.
What lies ahead?
I was curious to find out which all brands, with their current positionings and punchlines were excellently poised to use and capitalize on the world cup success.
Some which I zeroed down on:
- Adidas: It can really take the ‘bring it on’ concept forward for Sachin and Sehwag, building on resilience as stepping stone to eventual success.
- Fiat: Works on the punchline – ‘driven by passion’. They can connect passion to the success of the Indian Team
- SX4 – Working on the ‘Men are Back’ concept, it can talk about the return of India’s dominance in men’s cricket, from ODIs to Test matches
- Mastercard – I can visualize a lot of stuff developed on the theme of ‘there are some things that money can’t buy, for everything else, there is MasterCard ’
- McDowell’s, with its punchline of ‘the new sign of success’, and with MSD as the brand ambassador, has interesting opportunities in store
- Honda – post the de-merger from Hero, they can really launch the ‘power of dreams’ by associating dreams to success for the players.
There must be others who can leverage this world cup victory, especially ones who boast cricketers as brand ambassadors, from Aircel & Airtel to Luminous Inverters ( !! ). IPL teams may also build on the hoopla a bit, with Mumbai Indians having launched a campaign already (this one seriously is the only time I see Munaf Patel endorsing a brand, ever!)
Cricket is the biggest unifier in this country, and whoever can use it to advantage is the one who comes out as the winner here.