Spot light | Patriotic blue

Spot light | Patriotic blue

Reviewer: Sainath Saraban

With more than 16 years experience in advertising, Sainath Saraban, executive creative director,Leo Burnett , Delhi, has worked on brands such as Thums Up, Maaza, Samsung, Levi’s, Pizza Hut, Boost, Perfetti, Kingfisher and General Motors.


The new advertisement for Nike by JWT India uses cricket to capture the brand’s Just Do It attitude. Through a montage of clips that show people playing cricket on the streets, the ad aims to capture the relationship between the raw street-style cricket played by youth across the country and the bold, best-of-class cricket played by Team India.

What did you think of the ad?

The minute I saw these television commercials, I was reminded of not one, but two previous television commercials done by JWT India.

The first one was the original Nike “cricket on top of a bus-traffic jam" film, and the second one was a commercial for The Times of India called A Day in the Life of Chennai. The Nike Yards spots seemed like a combination of the two. The films are reasonably well-executed, shot in a very candid style. They’re edited well. I don’t like the music track too much though. They stay true to Nike’s brand values and that seems to work. Does it move me? Not too much.

How does this ad compare with other Nike campaigns? Do you think it serves the purpose?

I think the original “cricket-traffic jam" Nike film is still right on top. In terms of idea and execution, the Bleed Blue campaign has been executed pretty well on billboards, but the films aren’t that provocative.

With all the cricket action on television channels this season, what must sporting brands such as Nike keep in mind while planning their campaigns?

I think appealing to the jingoistic part of the Indian cricket fan is crucial. And Bleed Blue is a solid jingoistic campaign, while others are saying Just Do It in different ways. So I think Nike has got it right in terms of messaging. And with India winning, Bleed Blue has moved beyond just being an advertising tag line. It is now a statement of cricket patriotism.

What is your favourite ad in the genre and why?

I think the Nike POV football television commercial where we see the journey of an ordinary guy becoming a football star who plays alongside Ronaldo and has some awesome football moments was pretty cool. It was treated like a first-person shooter game and was quite seamless in its treatment. Can’t describe it any further, you have to see it to enjoy it.