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Make Way for Talent
IPL’s new campaign celebrates the level-playing field it provides for young aspirants and seasoned cricketers alike

Shruti Venkatesh

Every year, the Indian Premier League (IPL) introduces a bunch of young, passionate cricketers, who not just get a chance to play with the biggest players in the world, but also have the opportunity to make it to the national team. Think Hardik Pandya, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, to name a few. It is clear testimony to the fact that IPL provides a level playing field, literally, to one and all. And this is precisely the message that the campaign for the 11th season of IPL tries to convey with #GameBanayegaName.

As the name suggests, the ad encapsulates the message that when given the right opportunity, anyone with skills and talent can make their mark in the world. “The IPL has already shown in the past that it is an ideal platform for aspiring cricketers to showcase their talent. This campaign reflects the spirit of young India,” says Gautam Thakar, CEO, Star Sports.

The seed of the idea actually came from a line inscribed on the IPL trophy since the first edition — ‘Where talent meets opportunity’. The agency, Taproot Dentsu, observed that though this thought has been talked about with regard to the IPL in the past, it has never been actually used vividly in any IPL advertising campaign. “That’s where the idea of manipulating an advertising cliché — the classic split screen came about. What happens to this divide in the course of the commercial is the result of many hours of tweaking, building upon and layering by many talented people from the agency team, the brand team and the production house Equinox,” says Agnello Dias, chief creative officer and founder, Taproot Dentsu.

Interestingly, this insight goes beyond cricket, believes Ram Madhvani, founder and director, Equinox Films, who has also directed the National award-winning film Neerja. “IPL is the great equaliser. And the concept of ‘game’ i.e. talent, being the ultimate winner is an allegory, symbolic of all of our careers,” adds Madhvani.

The commercial, about one and half minutes in length, introduces the viewers to two diverse set of players — one playing on the maidan and the other playing on the cricket ground. There ensues a battle of sorts between the two, each trying to garner more screen space. Eventually, the maidan players are invited onto the cricket field. Before they introduce themselves, the IPL players interject, and say forget the name, show us your game. The TVC features Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Rishabh Pant and Rashid Khan in their respective team jerseys. Another standout feature of the ad is the musical infusion of the IPL title track.

“IPL films yes, are usually unusual and innovative but to marry a basic powerful true insight with such a clutter-breaking execution was the golden mean that we sought to achieve,” says Dias. And with this campaign, they have truly hit it out of the park!

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