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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Marketing, Advertising, Reality, Cricketers, endorsements and more !!


Recently, saw a full page advt featuring spin King Ravichandran Ashwin promoting a food product – primarily a food-mix .. .. .. Cricketers endorsing and promoting products is nothing new – FarokhManekshaw Engineer was freatured in Brylcreem .. .. .. and those days ‘palmolivekajawabnahin’ – said the greatest allrounder India ever produced -  Kapil Dev Nikhanj.  He ran, he exercised, drank beverage and said ‘Boost is the source of energy !’ – whole Nation drank Boost, later Sachin Tendulkar too joined and said .. .. .. ‘our energy’!.  I have a Q to ask, one’s opinion may be impelled favourably in respect of a two-wheeler, a food product or something else – but they advertised for tyres meant for aircrafts too ? – who is the target audience.


Decades ago, we  saw players using bats like Slazenger, G&M, Grey Nicholls, SG, SS, BDM  and the like….. now you see bats without brand name explicit but advertiser’s logo prominent !!  ~ players earn a lot through endorsements. Old timers will well remember the global brand Lux … and its advertisements in Kumudam or the bathing girl of Liril.  Lux was touted to be the soap  of cine actresses.  Lux has a long history of the mass marketed toilet soap, the one that pioneered female celebrity endorsements. Since its launch in 1924, Lux has been endorsed by some of the world’s most beautiful women, with stars including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot appearing in some of its early advertising. In more recent years, celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine Zeta Jones and Jennifer Lopez have also fronted Lux campaigns. In India, Sridevi promoted this brand for long……….marketed as ‘soap that cine actress uses’…

On 24.11.2018, at North Sound (Antigua): Australia breezed to their fourth Women’s World T20 title, thrashing England by eight wickets in the finals. England faltered with the bat after winning the toss, struggling to 105 all out in 19.4 overs with opener Danielle Wyatt(43) being the top-scorer.Pacer Megan Schutt (2/13), leggie Giorgia Wareham (2/11) and all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner (3/22) led Australia’s clinical effort with the ball.Chasing a comfortable target, Australia raced to victory in 15.1 overs with Gardner and captain Meg Lanning remaining unbeaten on 33 and 28, respectively.

Interestingly, England had also mustered 105 against Australia in the final of the 2014 edition and even on that occasion, the team from Down Under cruised to a famous win. With another emphatic win on Saturday, Australia extended their dominance in the showpiece event of the shortest format, lifting their fourth trophy in tournament’s sixth edition. Australia are also the most successful team in ODI World Cup with six titles. However, Australia had not win a major event since their World T20 triumph four years ago, making Saturday’s triumph sweeter.

Their sole loss in the tournament came against India in the group stage before they bounced back to beat the West Indies in the semifinals. England, who downed an in-form India in the semifinals, had a forgettable day.Lanning, who hit the winning run, said being outplayed by India did not affect the team's morale heading into the knock-outs.  Back home, there have been media debates on the decision to leave out Mithali Raj in the crucial encounter, though she was fit .. .. it was a decision that backfired.  The scorecard of the finals reads : England Women 105 all out 19.4 overs (Danielle Wyatt 43, Heather Knight 25; Ashleigh Gardner 3-22, Georgia Wareham 2-11). Australia Women 106/2 15.1 overs (Ashleigh Gardner 33*).

Winning or losing on – there is always plenty of news .. the Indian women’s team has been creating waves off the field, not waves but money too.  At least three top players — Mithali Raj, SmritiMandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur — have signed lucrative endorsement contracts. From peddling fruit juice and flaunting Australian diamonds to promoting cab aggregators and sporting shoe brands — they are doing it all.

Classy Mithali Raj whose presence perhaps could have changed fortunes in Semis against England,  has inked a deal with New Zealand-based bat maker Laver & Wood apart from playing brand ambassador for US cab-hailing company Uber and Rio Tinto’s Australian diamonds. Sources said the bat deal is worth Rs 20 lakh. Her teammate, 22-year old Mandhana has the country’s largest bike maker Hero Moto Corp sponsoring her bat and European footwear retailer Bata has picked her as a brand ambassador. Mandhana, sources said, could be charging anywhere between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 50 lakh per year for an endorsement. Kolkata-headquartered conglomerate ITC chose Indian T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur as the brand ambassador for its juice brand B Natural to push deeper into Punjab. Kaur, who hails from Moga in the northern state, charges around Rs 10 lakh a day for ad shoots and Rs 15-20 lakh per year for endorsing apparel and footwear, sources said. Tyre maker Ceat, which is one of the heavyweight bat sponsors with top cricketers such as Rohit Sharma and AjinkyaRahane on its payroll, has also signed up Kaur.

Teenage batting sensation Jemima Rodrigues has signed up with the Kiwi batmaker Laver & Wood.“The team’s top-class performance at the global level has made women’s cricket popular among the game’s fans in the country,” said a Hero MotoCorp spokesperson. “Thanks to their consistent performances and the live telecast of the matches, players such as Mithali, Smriti and Harmanpreet have become household names, in the process immensely enhancing their brand value.”Companies are finding new ways of cashing in on the grassroots popularity of these cricketers. “A campaign featuring Kaur, which ran as a state-level contest, became a platform to identify and celebrate honest talent among girl children across Punjab in the cities of Bhatinda, Patiala, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Chandigarh,” said an ITC spokesperson.

The riches did not come overnight. In a country dominated by male cricket lovers who enjoy watching the men’s team play, these women had to up their ante to compete for eyeballs. “The girls have taken a lot of effort off the field,” said current fielding coach of the Andhra Pradesh team Munish Bali, who has spent time training the Indian women’s national cricket team. “They are much fitter now.”

Marketing, Advertising, Reality, are all perhaps different Worlds… most times - when some material is entrusted and amount is exchanged, the material in trust serves as a collateral security – that is business economics.  Ask the same Q to those farmers who sold their farmlands and fell victims to ‘Emu bubble’ …  reportedly 15,000 emus also fell victim to contract scam.  Not surprisingly, a Nation which spends more time on Cinema than anything else –  and you had  Paravai Muniyamma advertising for Emu.  So did Sathyaraj who would ridicule the rationale of people masquerading wisdom…. People got carried by the tall ‘flying’ claims of advts featuring cine persons and failed to ask how those flightless ugly looking birds would double and treble the money invested.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Nov. 2018.

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