Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Okay... I just HAVE to put this down... Recently, like every other self-respecting Indian cricket fan, I have been glued to the IPL... No, no, this is not another of those blogs espousing or denouncing T20 crricket... I am a firm convert now...!
This is to vent my disgust at how some marketers go overboard.

Okay, I'm a student of advertising and like any other MICAn worth his / her salt realise how important each and every one of those ads and visuals are to companies that dole out crores and crores to grab viewers' attention. So we have come to live with ads and cricketers who look like moving billboards. Yeah, all that is fine, because one thing is kept intact - the game itself. The cricket was still happening, the viewers could see whatever was happening, irrelevant space between overs were getting filled up. Fair enough.

But then, disgusting things happened. The replays of the last ball started getting eaten up. And that is particularly irritating when the ball is a jaffa or the shot is one Mr. Benaud himself would have went 'ah' at. This trend was started by Doordarshan, but we really didn't care to complain because they're crap anyway, right? But now you have private channels that do this and that is disgusting! I don't know about you, but I think the SETMax-isation of cricket was one of the worst things to happen to the game in India. As entertaining as cricket is, SETMax is a goddamn movie channel!

Anyway... Coming back to the point at hand, this ad-diction eats away from the over and spoils the viewing experience.

Another highly irritating thing this series has brought out is the commentators ostensibly endorsing products on-air. Every time someone hits a six, the commentators instantly go on the 'another contendor for the DLF maximum sixes award!'. At first I thought it was just an allusion to the contest but as sixes started coming, it became more and more evident... The horror... Are commentators actually being paid to SAY the name of the product on-air?

I've watched cricket long enough and know that no self-respecting cricket commentator would deliberately do that!

Initially, Vodafone and Godrej jad very irritating within-screen ads which had loud music and obliterated what the commentators were saying. Thankfully, someone had his head screwed on right and now the music does not play.

We know cricket is a commercial medium and all that and marketers are desperate to get a piece of the pie... But the moment you actually ruin and destroy the viewing experience, things have gone too far.

Makes you wonder sometime, where cricket is heading. Someone once described cricket as a ten-hour advertisiment show with odd breaks to show men in pyjamas playing with bats and ball. Now we run risk of watching even that!