Are you listening to the emerging counter-cultural stories?
(Posted 25th March 2019)
Creating brand’s cultural relevance through contradictions
(Posted 07th March 2019)
Why creative briefing doesn't work
(Posted 02nd October 2018)
Accidental brilliance? Looking at #Dhara Jalebi 20 years later
(Posted 16th December 2016)
The clash of Indian masculinities
(Posted 5th November 2014)
Is the future of big brand ideas dark?
(Posted 5th September 2017)
Isn’t it time the hotel industry borrowed a trick from Airbnb?
(Posted 29th July 2018)
A different kind of a hero
(Posted 8th March 2017)
Gol gappas or gold medals? Which side of #Dangal are you on?
(Posted 1st January 2017)
Strategic importance of vulnerability
(Posted 28th June 2016)
Anushka’s trolling comes from innate cultural belief
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Goose pimple stuff: All time awesome campaigns in India – I
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Well played sir!: All time awesome campaigns in India – II
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Mobiles, mobility and the importance of guilt
(Posted 15th May 2016)
Where in the food chain is your food brand?
(Posted 12th February 2014)
Return of the angry young man
(Posted 4th January 2015)
Amul – ye butter hai ya twitter?
(Posted 18th December 2014)
Who’s your enemy?
(Posted 15th November 2014)
Six pack abs, designer stubbles and tattoos
(Posted 18th September 2014)
Are we falling in love with Samsung`s geeky authenticity over Apple`s hype?
(Posted 12th September 2014)
Is your brand missing in your brand’s social media strategy?
(Posted 15th April 2014)
Brand rejuvenation: is your brand trapped?
(Posted 27th March 2014)
Aren’t the new age brands being outdated in their brand thinking?
(Posted 12th February 2014)
Why brand managers should spend more time on jokes and cartoons…
(Posted 25th March 2014)
Why the cricket team’s loss bothers the parent in us
(22nd January 2012)
Shallow shlacking: why Hindu’s campaign gets the buzz
(Posted 1st February 2012)
Shall we stop targeting our audience now
(5th February 2012)
How do you sleep at night?
(17th June 2012)
Is there a problem in your insight?
(25th January 2012)

Well played sir!: All time awesome campaigns in India – II


well-played-sir-all-time-awesome-campaigns-india-ii-amit

The English language and cricket are two legacies from the colonial times that India embraced wholeheartedly. It’s clear, however, that they symbolise much more than a language and sport for us.

In the initial period, both were markers of brown sahib privilege. If you went to a ‘Convent’ and spoke English (not just read and understood it), you clearly belonged to the upper middle class. The same applied to cricket, while anyone could and did play it, ‘proper’ cricket required being able to afford expensive equipment, going to select coaching clubs and living by the MCC coaching manual.

Bombay, with its head-start had the best of cricket clubs & coaches and more than half of the Indian cricket team during this era came from this one city. Cricket was a burra sahib pass time with a tea break and a rest day after 3 days of exertion in a test match.


Sunil Gavaskar, the epitome of ‘correct’ technique was our poster boy. The emergence of Kapil Dev with his raw talent and an un-coachable batting style created a minor flutter, but did not disrupt the system much. He was more importantly, a classical medium fast bowler with picture perfect action and gorgeous natural outswing.

Representing another era in batting style, the unbelievable Sachin Tendulkar, was still from the Mumbai school and the British absolutely loved him for the perfection of his technique. He was carrying forward a legacy much better than the British themselves, who were moving on to soccer!

It was perhaps with the emergence of Dhoni that a new era started in Indian cricket, symbolising the same in the society. Dhoni’s ‘background’ (some of it a myth, but made for good story) made his success in cricket interesting story - from a city which had no cricket culture worth noticing, a youth spent struggling to afford cricket gear, a job in Railways and a batting style that suggested complete lack of access to the MCC coaching manual and ‘proper’ clubs.

Like him, stories of small town/rural youth making it big on the national platform, often defeating the more privileged but less hungry big-city counterparts started to emerge with greater frequency. Television, with a spurt of talent shows across quizzes, singing, dancing you name it, started to present this dream come true narrative.

With India’s economic rise and unabated love for the game, the old order changed. India became the new capital of cricket, leaving behind England by some distance.

Nothing represented it better than IPL – a combination of masala cricket, Indian money power and stories of small town talent winning multi crore contracts over night.

The cricket world cup, once only hosted in England, was coming to be hosted by the subcontinent. With Dhoni at the helm of the favourites – the Indian cricket team.

Pepsi – the perennially irreverent brand, had done the classic ‘Nothing official about it’ campaign back in 1990’s. It needed to combine its persona while reflecting the changed world order. The un-coached and under privileged were the masters now. The game had changed.