Let the Commercials Decide

The third most important football tournament in the World (after the World Cup and the UEFA Champions League) is on right now, and the nineteenth most important Cricket tournament in the World will start shortly. Ok fine, I just made up that number. But with a million cricket tournaments and series in a year, and many of them one-off events, it is impossible to do a real ranking.

With these two big tournaments on simultaneously, Indian sports fans have a problem of plenty this summer. And we haven’t yet spoken of Wimbledon and the US Open golf event. I am just sticking to the most popular sport in the world and the most popular sport in India. With little time on his hands, how does the Indian sports fan prioritize his sports watching on the telly? The Euro is a more important football tournament but we are a cricket mad nation and our national team happens to be playing in the Asia Cup.

Well, I have a new way of resolving this dilemma. It is called ‘LET THE TV COMMERCIALS DECIDE’

There are two TV commercials dominating the sporting airwaves right now. One is the Nike football commercial called ‘Take it to the NEXT LEVEL’ which makes a pitch for football and the Euro tournament. Then there is the Star Cricket commercial which calls on cricket fans to start cheering for India in the Asia Cup.

Watch both and watch the tournament which has a better commercial.

Watch the Nike commercial. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwlpTgbQTE)

This commercial really takes a football fan to the next level. You almost experience what it feels like to be a player on the field. You score, you tackle, you get tackled and you even get to kiss the babes.

The ad also leaves you guessing – who the player is in the ad – the guy through whose eyes we see the entire ad unfold. He is a goal scoring Dutch forward who plays for arsenal. Points to one Robin Van Persie. But this player is right-footed and can’t be Van Persie. Anyway, this is an outstanding ad.

Now take a look at the Star Cricket commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z-kW9Hy7X8)

I am sorry but this ad is not fully available on the Internet. None of its four versions. It is actually so infantile that I have a feeling Youtube refused to upload it on their site. You can’t miss it on TV though. There are no other ads which show grown up men shouting INDIA! INDIA! for no rhyme or reason. One guy enters a parking lot and looks around as if he is a car thief and then starts shouting INDIA! INDIA!. The other versions show similarly demented men shouting in offices, homes and elevators. The ad line says – time to start cheering for INDIA.

But should we not wait for the games to start at least? Do we have to act like the village idiot to show our loyalties? People in this country have enough intelligence to know that the IPL is over and they need to cheer for the national team in the Asia Cup. I guess the commercial is meant for people who don’t understand that – people who behave like the guys in the ad.

Final Decision – The commercials have clearly made the decision for me. However, you can watch the cricket if you are planning to watch each and every cricket tournament in the year and do the ranking analysis for the Asia Cup and other tournaments. In case you do. You know what to do next. Start shouting.

Avnish Anand

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