Champions Rise

Before the UEFA Champions League kicks off, Sony Pictures Sports Network urges football fans to catch the game live even in the wee hours of night

Only footballs fan understand the thrill of watching a match ‘live’, and not live them through highlights. Especially, when it’s a tournament like UEFA Champions League. The adrenaline rush of watching each pass, attack, miss and goal excites not just the purist but also the masses. But the catch — these matches air well past midnight in the country, forcing many to miss the telecast.

Sony Pictures Sports Network decided to deal with this challenge of low viewership head on by launching a witty new campaign called #SonaManaHai. “We played on the fear of missing out, or FOMO; and on shaming the guy who misses the game because he fell asleep,” chuckles  Neville Bastawalla, head-marketing and on-air promotions - sports business, Sony Pictures Network India.

The ad film traces the journey of a man named Rastogi, who gets shunned everywhere he goes because he tells his colleagues he fell asleep and couldn’t watch the match. From the temple pandit to the canteen anna, everyone is mocking him for his inability to stay awake for such an important match.

According to Raghu Bhat, founder and director, Scarecrow Communications, what works for the ad is that it’s based on real insights. “It’s also highly unpredictable, unlike any typical football ad — funny with lots of nuances, has scale and great acting,” says Bhatt.

The film comes on the back of other successful campaigns launched by SPN for the  League in the previous seasons, including ‘My Reasons to Watch UEFA Champions League’. They had also screened the finals at PVR Cinemas in five cities in India. “The last two campaigns were for ‘massification’, and helped in increasing reach by 56%. This one will also intrigue those who don’t know anything about the game,” says Bastawalla. Well, in football parlance, all we want to say is, it’s a goal!