IPL – Can we have some cricket please?

Notice, that its not a break from cricket. Mine is almost a contrarian stance from the cricket pundits as well as a section of the players and viewers who feel there’s too much of cricket on TV. To me, the latest form makes me feel as though I’m watching an NBA playoff (i don’t, still.. 😉 )- celebrities, entertainment, and a game that a lot of people are passionate about. Also, its a testament to the times we live in, similar to what’s happening on the web. Tests- Journals, ODI – Blogs, Twenty20 – Twitter… dwindling attention spans….

The campaigns did their job, maybe thanks to the media avalanche, and although there were concerns that the ‘karmayudh’ was a rip off from an old Fox TVC, it didn’t gather enough momentum to dislodge the creative+media strategy, nor did the internet ban (Internet Prohibited League, anyone?) Meanwhile, many teams created websites and TVCs. SRK created controversies and a music video. Airtel has created an Indian Fantasy League and a facebook app for it, although it does strange things to my facebook page layout. In addition to the Bollywood team owners, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan were seen endorsing teams. And, as a result of all this and many other things, which I’ve not been able to catalogue, like the names and phone numbers of the cheerleaders, the viewership just skyrocketed.

So, what’s the problem? The problem, I feel, is that I’m reminded of the way Bollywood functions now. The satellite rights, the mobile rights, the overseas rights are all sold before the script is heard, and the movie is declared a hit even before the audience decides whether its right for them. So, whether its a hit or a flop, its a hit anyway financially. In between all this left, right and centre hitting, the public is a mere spectator. Yes, that is their role, I agree, but being the end audience it feels very undemocratic. The connect is that HypePL, at least it seems, has gone so overboard in making sure its sponsors are pleased that it doesn’t spare a thought for the user who is viewing primarily for the cricket. So, by pushing that ad in, if the bowler so much as hesitates in his run up, you’re spoling the experience for the user. And brands which are doing it beware, you might be getting eyeballs, but each eyeball is a negative equity score. I already hate that irresponsible girl who can’t remember to get her damn tie, or keeps her socks in the right place. With lesser frequency, I might have loved it. More on that tomorrow. Hutch (yeah, no publicity for your new brand name), Hyundai (iRRITATING), go look up the word ‘overkill’

until next time, Let TVCs not kill the cricket star, sign up here

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