The Cricket Fever

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By Heba Moeen

Cricket is a sport which is celebrated in our country with a robust demeanour and nothing can beat the love for this cherished game despite us not being able to make it to the last couple of World Cup Finals. This year too, the cricket fever was sky high, somewhat due to the nation still being hopeful, thus comparing everything to 1992 and looking for reasons for the triggered nostalgia.

Quite a number of brands played an important part in further instilling the admiration of cricket and making themselves synonymous with the cricket craze. Not only did they instill the cricket feel in their campaigns by leveraging terms that trigger top of mind recall, they also got to the consumer level and enjoyed the thrills and excitement of being with them when a wicket fell down or a boundary was hit.

Peek Freans Sooper, the number one biscuit selling brand of Pakistan started a promotion for cricket lovers across the country, leading to a great deal of engagement by delighting customers. Distributed into phases, Sooper initiated an SMS campaign through which consumers could text message various codes on Sooper packs to 8398 for an interactive question and answer session related to the sport. The 10 most active participants entered a lucky draw for a chance to win the grand prize: Cash equivalent for airfares to Australia. Similarly, the 500 runner-ups were entitled to prizes including branded gear and smartphones.

Brands that have a digital presence have an upper hand in directly communicating with consumers and thus Sooper turned out to be a pro at it. It gathered a large chunk of the audience thereby enjoying virality as a result of its hashtag, #SooperHaiCricket. Just over the weekend of its launch, it was able to acquire almost 5.5 million impressions, reaching nearly 1.5 million accounts on Twitter. In a world of consumer marketing where it’s all about relationship building with the end consumers, the brand has played a significant role in interacting with the target audience and assimilating with them as their very own.

Jubilee Life, Pakistan’s life insurance provider, on the other hand, got the legendary cricketer, Wasim Akram on board and to represent the ICC Cricket World Cup digital campaign. As such, he communicated with fans through pictures, messages and short videos on Facebook and Twitter. He enlightened the audience with his expert opinions and was a great support in boosting the morale of the team as well as the nation. As a result, the number of likes for Jubilee Life’s Facebook page increased by 100% thus giving the company great leverage to capitalize on their future potential customer base.

Coca-Cola Pakistan had been very prominent with the ICC World Cup 1992 title song remake, thus incorporating top musicians and vocalists and commemorating the memory of the win of yesteryears with the presence of Javed Miandad. Celebrities and singers like Aamina Sheikh, Atif Aslam, Jimmy Khan, Adnan Malik and Strings added their touch to the enthusiasm. The hashtag, #PhirSeyGameUthaDain went viral on Twitter thus sparking rants and healthy conversations alike. Within a few days, the brand got the newly discovered Justin Girls, now renowned as Justin Bibis on board for a classical cum rap jingle. This notably had been the USP of the campaign and increased talkability of the brand on social media. The song video was used as a message of hope from Lahore.

Olper’s Lassi with its bright and colourful packaging availed the chance to appear as it is in its communication and campaign designed to associate itself with the game of cricket this season. The campaign and the hashtag devised, #KhulKeKhelo gave all cricket fanatics a chance to record their messages with the brand as the brand team comprising of the camera crew travelled across identified destinations of  Lahore and Karachi.

Similarly, Telenor using its Djuice platform showcased Ali Gul Pir to reveal his much anticipated comical song, ‘Shor Macha’, targeting the younger audience who easily relate to this emerging celebrity comedian. Using the same hashtag, the song was released in pursuit of the India vs Pakistan match.

As new campaigns develop to celebrate the sport, the aspect of relationship building becomes more profound in the world of Marketing and brands get a chance to become more prominent.

 

The writer manages strategic communications at a PR firm.

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