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  • Writer's pictureSamradni

Dream 11 IPL Ad campaign: Brings back rules from ‘Gully Cricket’

Updated: Mar 14, 2021


Dream 11


Tilt Brand Solutions

This post was a long time pending.

When you are the title sponsor of the biggest cricket tournament in India, it is your ‘moral duty’ to ensure that you go all out with your advertising.

This is exactly what Dream 11, the fantasy game giant decided to do, for IPL 2020!

History of Dream 11:

Dream 11 or India’s first gaming Unicorn was founded in 2012 by Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain.

Initially, the app was introduced to just discuss games with your friends, or play a few fantasy games.

However, the founders soon released the scalability problem and had to resort to making various changes to ensure sustenance.

They introduced a ‘freemium’ feature to the app, whereby the users could use certain features of the app for free, and pay for more.

Did you know? According to recent data, out of their 50 crore user base, 7.5 crore users or 15% pay an average of INR 25 per month.

This itself amounts to a revenue of more than INR 187 crore.

Isn’t that truly brilliant?!

It’s a great example, of how you can succeed irrespective of the barriers put in, the biggest barrier in their case being the legal challenges.

But their success clearly paves way for future start-ups aiming to get into the space of young sports lovers!

Talking of start-ups, here’s one that I recently came across, ‘Hulla’ an app available on Google Playstore.

It acts as a sports calendar, not just covering the schedule for cricket but other sports as well.

It provides you with an option to make plans with your friends to watch the matches together at home with the option of invites and reminders.

What more, it also comprises of a referral program where you stand a chance to earn Amazon vouchers!

You can download the app from the link given below-

Dream 11 IPL Sponsorship:

Dream 11 had been a sponsor for IPL for many years now, however this time around they managed to win the bid for title sponsorship.

Well, they paid INR 222 crore for the same, that’s crazy!

What’s more crazy is the fact, that any company would invest so much only if we were to get even better returns.

We can only imagine how big those returns would be!

Advertising Background:

When it comes to the IPL season, all the brands, be it sponsors, or other brands aiming for a commercial spot, try to put their best foot forward.

Dream 11 was already in the news for being selected, last minute, as the title sponsor and hence it was obvious that they had to Up their game when it comes to promotion.

But it's not always that a title sponsor brand does justice to the opportunity being presented to them, however, in my opinion, Dream 11 has managed to do a great job.

Advertising Objective:

When I came across the ads initially, it brought back a lot of memories, of gully cricket, played in and around my society.

Of course, I never played myself, but watching my friends play, the relatability quotient of the ads was quite evident.

I knew this work had to be conceptualized by people who have played gully cricket themselves, because getting this instant connection with your target group is just not possible otherwise.

And my guess was right, in one of the articles I came across, the Chief Creative and Content Officer, Shriram Iyer at Tilt Brand Solutions, mentioned the same.

A creative team full of cricket enthusiasts effortlessly came up with the brand scripts, keeping in mind their personal experiences from playing the game.

The entire objective of the campaign was sure to encourage more downloads, primarily.

But I think on a secondary level, it was more to do with creating this whole ‘cricket lovers’ club, who would associate themselves with the ad, and thereby the product.

Advertising Execution:

Sadly, I heard a lot of people say, the cricketers acting is ridiculous, and it just spoils the mood of the ad.

My response to that has only been, that they are cricketers, they don’t have to be good at acting, but the whole premise of the campaign working so well is based on the fact that you see actual cricketers.

Here are a few of my favorite spots, from the set of ads released.

The execution I believe is very simple, yet drives the point through.

It’s multi-layered with the crux around bringing back memories of those gully cricket days, we have all experienced at some time.

Small nuances like determining your own rules for what’s considered a sixer, or when you hit here, it’s considered out.

All of these have been highlighted in the campaign.

Moreover, the line ‘Yahan sab same hai, yeh apna game hai’ works extremely well, this is because the message it denotes, makes a lot of sense.

Its more around the fact, that you may not consider yourself to be great at Cricket, but even great cricketers are at a level playing field when it comes to the App.

Another set of ads that they released also have a simple underlying message, “Ye mai kar leta hun, tum Dream 11 pe team banao”

And this one attracted a lot of memes across social media!

Where screenshots from the actual matches, to government, to students, everyone was included with the same line “aap dream 11 pe team banao”!

Advertising Learnings:

Here are my top 3 learnings from this ad campaign:

1. Relatability makes a lot of difference

Just think about it, if the ads did not include small nuances that we could relate to our own gully cricket rules, would the campaign be successful?

Definitely not, it’s the relatability that makes all the difference.

So I feel, given that it was Cricket, the most loved sport in the country, this had to be incorporated perfectly, to match the expectations of the fans.

2. Short Ads on repeat works well

Most of the ad spots, are just 10seconds long, now this works, and let me tell you why.

In those 10 seconds, they are bringing alive a small situation, and then directly playing the jingle of ‘Yahan sab same hai, yeh apna game hai’.

Now for a consumer getting exposed to this commercial, again and again, this tune/jingle is bound to stick around.

3. Multiple brand messages may work for your brand

Now IPL is here for 2 months.

They could have continued with a single brand message, but they have already explored two different routes here.

By routes, I am referring to the messages- one being, ‘Dream 11 pe team banao’, and the other one being ‘Ye apna game hai’.

And I feel this works better, because with a new message, a new connect gets created in the mind of your consumers, and this can work well in the long run.

Instead of playing the same message for 2 months, it’s better to come up with more.

All in all, the campaign is brilliantly executed in my opinion, and is sure to bring a lot of downloads, Dream 11’s way.

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