Reviewer: Roopak Saluja

Roopak Saluja is co-founder and managing director of Bang Bang Films, which produces TV advertising and other content for advertisers such as Unilever, Nokia, Pepsi and Sony.

Brilliant metaphor: Saluja. Kedar Bhat/Mint


The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 ad, by Ogilvy and Mather, has people dressed in cricket uniforms, and wearing masks of team captains from the participating countries, walking a tightrope towards the Cup.

What did you think of the ad?

Respect Ogilvy! For taking the brief and turning it on its head. To hell with all the seen-before clichés; enter a brilliant visual metaphor for each team walking the tightrope to the Cup. Frankly though, whether you get that or not, it’s an exhilarating piece of communication and that’s what matters. Dhruv (Ghanekar, music director, Blue Frog Media) deserves as much credit as the director, Bob (Shashanka Chaturvedi of Good Morning Films), for laying down a counter-intuitive, attention-grabbing track that succeeds in carrying the spot way past the finish line. It’s no joke to control a massive set-up like that in an open bazaar setting. Apparently, a large chunk of the crowd weren’t hired extras at all but just thronged together to catch the action, unintentionally delivering additional production value.

The minuses: The 3-minute version is gratuitous, 90 seconds is more than enough. The giant Cup itself is a bit shoddy but that’s a product of time and money.

The ad was supposed to set World Cup 2011 apart from any other cricket event in the subcontinent. Does it achieve this?

Personally, even as a cricket fan, I sometimes feel a bit suffocated with all the cricket clutter. The approach is unique and it feels big, so tick those boxes. Do I feel it’s the biggest thing happening in cricket this year? Perhaps. But who knows what IPL 4 (Indian Premier League’s fourth edition) has in store for us?

Crowd puller: The ad turns the campaign brief on its head.

Which brand campaign has the stronger consumer connect? This one or the last IPL campaign?

I’ve got to say, last year’s IPL Red Carpet campaign seems pretty cheesy compared with this spot. But then again, as a nation, we seem to have a strange affection for cheese, so who’s to say which one has the stronger consumer connect? I still think this one wins on the back of sheer differentiation.

What’s your favourite campaign featuring sportsmen?

The Lifetime Achievement award goes to Nike…and there’s no second prize in the category. Within the Nike universe, it’s a toss-up between Airport ’98 and last year’s Write the Future. The former features the Brazilian soccer team messing around with the ball while waiting at an airport. With Mas que nada as the background track, (Eric) Cantona’s cameo and (the original, not Cristiano) Ronaldo’s missed goal ending, it’s a brilliantly crafted spot that inspired several clones around the world for years to come. The latter is simply a cinematic masterpiece by (Alejandro) Iñárritu (of Babel fame). The less said the better. YouTube it!

As told to Gouri Shah.