Just saw THE most amazing ad seen in a long time on Indian television. It's a minute long - maybe more - and doesn't mention or display the product at all. In fact, it's more a rivetting short film than an ad. Just that the Nike logo comes on in the last frame.
The film starts with a typical Indian scene in what could be any Indian city - chakka jam! One enterprising boy slithers on to the roof of a bus. Another gets on to an adjacent bus and ... they start playing cricket. The shot hits a hoarding and then a balcony. Another hero rescues the ball, jumps on to a truck and proceeds to display some speed bowling.
And well, a lot of other stuff happens. Little details which you'll catch when you repeat view. Which I'm sure will be again and again and again.
Yes, this is all part of Nike's Cricket World Cup push. The company recently became the official apparel sponsor for Team India. A five year contract for which the company paid BCCI Rs 196 crores. The company is targeting sales of $1 billion in India for the next five years - and for that it needs cricket in its arsenal.
Internationally, Nike is no 1. A dominance which led the no 2 and no 3 players to merge with Adidas buying out Reebok. In India, it's quite the opposite. Reebok commands a 40% market share, Adidas 20% and Nike 15%. That looks set to change with this new, aggressive 'India' strategy from Nike.
Nike launched 'cricket footwea'r last August - the Air Zoom Yorker for fast bowlers and the Air Zoom Opener for batsmen. It will also soon launch 'official cricket merchandise' in the form of team jerseys and T-shirts, backpacks and kit bags. Hope to see some interesting designs as the new team jersey claims to draw on Indian heritage and cricket culture.
"The colors of the graphics on the team jersey take inspiration from the tricolor of the Indian national flag and represent speed and motion. The lettering and the seam lines of the garment is inspired by Indian architecture and brings together Indian heritage with contemporary styling."
Um, anything would be better than what they wear currently.
Anyways, good luck to Nike. Thank God they're not treating India like an idiot Third World market. The 'Cricket Crazy' film cost a LOT of money and captures the spirit of the game in this country. It will capture hearts. Now if only Nike can figure out the right price points to sell its gorgeous merchandise - they may well capture the market as well.
P.S. Just found the video on Youtube - the film is actually two minutes long. It was posted 1 day ago by a user named 'mindshareblr' - Mindshare Bangalore? Please let us know who made this fantastic film - when, where and how!