New Delhi: This Indian Premier League (IPL) season, an unsuspecting team called “Chonkpur Cheetahs” is keeping viewers amused during ad breaks. Created by e-commerce giant Amazon India and advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather, Bengaluru, the fictional team is a part of the company’s IPL campaign which traces the journey of an aspiring team which wants to play the T20 tournament.
Executed as a series, Amazon introduced the team through the first ad at the beginning of IPL season. It was followed by two films, which introduce team’s star batsman ‘Puppi’ and pace bowler ‘Dhyani Singh’. In the latest fourth spot , the coach and team stumble upon their potential wicket-keeper (a young woman) after they observe her quick reflexes and sturdy hands while working at her brother’s shop.
According to Amazon India, the campaign has so far garnered over 20 million views, 1.5 lakh engagements and 14,000 conversations across mediums.
“We have been receiving encouraging response towards the campaigns across platforms including social media. For the IPL campaign, we have added the aspirational quotient that is often associated with the Indian consumer in the existing “Apni Dukaan” brand proposition. The objective is to communicate how Amazon is helping aspirational Indians in fulfilling their dreams through its extensive product portfolio (over 10 crore products), convenient delivery and value for money pricing,” said Ravi Arun Desai, director, mass and brand marketing, Amazon India.
The campaign is 46-day-long under which multiple films are slated to be released, touching upon various characters and aspects of Chonkpur Cheetahs team.
Advertising experts believe that properties like IPL and International Cricket Council (ICC) matches give brands a window to experiment with storytelling formats.
Advertising campaign series is a format where theme and characters remain the same while the storyline changes in each commercial.
“It works in the IPL and ICC match format because a considerable number of active viewers watch these seasons for a long duration. If a brand bombards them with a single creative, it creates significant ad fatigue while the series campaigns with different storylines tend to keep them engaged,” said Manish Bhatt, founder and director, Scarecrow Communications.
Apart from superior engagement, such ads also help companies in creating strong brand recall, said Naresh Gupta, strategy head and managing partner, Bang in the Middle. “Amazon is engaging well with the viewers owing to interesting storyline in each commercial,” he added.
Before Amazon India, this format has also been leveraged by Star Sports which was the official broadcaster of the 2015 ICC World Cup, through its “Mauka Mauka” films. The first viral ad in the series features an ardent Pakistani cricket fan going through adolescence, marriage and parenthood while getting increasingly frustrated over his team’s inability to beat India during the World Cup since 1992. In the subsequent films, he has been shown supporting multiple teams like West Indies, South Africa and United Arab Emirates (UAE), which are playing against India.
Telecom major Airtel experimented with the format featuring Bollywood actors Vida Balan and R. Madhavan as well as Rakul Preet Singh and Pulkit Samrat, who played love-struck couples promoting various offers like instant recharge, cheap STD calls and cheaper night plans.
Vodafone also introduced its iconic “ZooZoos” series of campaigns during the second season of IPL in 2009. The cute animated characters created by Ogilvy & Mather have made a comeback this year where they are shown in three different ads celebrating Indian team’s famous huddle, run outs and boundary moments.
“Vodafone ZooZoos did really well for first three years but then stories became repetitive and they lost their charm. This is another challenge with campaign series format; the brand and the agency have to constantly improve and outdo the creative idea with each commercial. If they fail, the viewer will lose interest,” said Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder, Taproot Dentsu.