Monday, March 19, 2007

Tigers in tension

The Indian sub-continent is very hot at the moment. Everyone is sweating over the Cricket World Cup. The minnows are the new majors. Bangladesh is the new Tiger. Pakistan is knocked out, Bob Woolmer is dead, Inzy has declared his retirement. Sri Lankans are beating opponents miserably. And back at home, Dhoni’s new house under construction is now rubble. Effigies of Viru are being burnt and Dravid have been asked to keep his gob shut.

Emotions are high to be very honest. We Indians love our cricket. No wonder cricket stars are often the highest paid brand endorsers for the love and patronage they get from the Indian fans. What happens if India fails to win? No, am not bothered about the game or the shattered Indian pride. Am more concerned about the brands and the millions being paid to our cricketing stars.

Withdrawing all ads featuring our failed stars on air and print is an easy solution. What about the brand association that has already been created in the minds of our consumers? How will brands react to that?

  • Will people like to wear ‘Mayur Shewang Suitings’ anymore?
  • Will people buy a Skyline Apartment that Dravid says matches his lifestyle? Or believe what Dravid has to say on behalf of the Bank of Baroda?
  • Will people still associate Yuvraj as the Hero of all two wheeled Hondas?
  • Will kids agree that Boost is the secret of Sachin’s energy?
  • Will people now start looking at sports beyond cricket?
Well, let’s hope for the best. Let not another minnow take the pants off our Indian team and send them back in bermudas. If it happens, India for sure will lose its reputation as a cricket crazy nation. And brands will have to re-think about their advertising and celeb endorsement strategies.

Boys in Blue, now bite your own words ‘Ladega to jetega.’ Good luck.

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