Now, I have not been following these developments closely, barely even registering them, retaining the disdain I have for anything mass and brainless. But then the IPL campaign hit television screens and I was apalled, absolutely horrified at the creatives. I believe O&M is the agency behind the campaign and I must say that I am very disappointed that a communal inciting campaign of this magnitude and proportion could have been brought to life by one of my favourite agencies.
IPL Ad 1
IPL Ad 2
IPL Ad 3
The entire campaign is centred around hating your fellow man and making his very existence hell just because he supports another team. More than the TV, movie and video game violence that we keep complaining about, this issue ought to be raised simply because it affects us on a much more basic, real and daily level. You meet your neighbour everyday. You're Bangalorean, he's Delhiite. Following simple logic of a person seeking familiarity and therefore being kindred to his home team, you and your neighbour are now being incited to go at each other's throats. If that is not communal, then what is?
Now, one cannot simply identify a problem and then let it lie. One must come up with a suitable solution as well, otherwise of what use are you? So, here is an alternative campaign idea from me.
Alternative IPL Campaign Idea:
The basic thought behind this campaign is that IPL is competitive and it is meant to make the viewers competitive as well. But the key differentiating factor is that it makes the viewer competitive during viewing. It does not make the person competitive. The basic person remains as he/she is. To highlight this difference, obviously some amount of extremities and stretching will have to be portrayed. This can be easily categorised as 'creative licence' or 'poetic justice'.
- Best buddies are having a great time hanging out with each other during the day. Come IPL match time, they sit down in front of their TV sets in their respective team colours and then the rivalry begins. This rivalry ends with the match.
- A stranger helps out an old granny to cross the road. She then returns the favour by inviting the stranger home for some cookies and milk. The IPL game starts and sweet granny and kind stranger turn into a saber tooth tiger and a wolly mammoth. IPL game ends and sweet granny and kind stranger take leave of each other, full of smiles.
- A guy spies a pretty girl in a bar. He approaches her and starts making his moves on her. Things are going well and both are laughing till the IPL game starts. Then fierce rivalry ensues between the two. IPL game ends and both leave together, totally into each other.
The alternative campaign not only shows people watching the games, it also ensures that the rivalry does not extend beyond the games and into real life. This way, it delivers the competitive spirit required for IPL, provides the enthusiasm to watch the games, and thereby high TRP ratings, does not cross the line, and hence ensures that society remains sane.