Taking a classic patriotic approach, the pledge-based ‘Blled Blue’ campaign aims to bring to life the passion and obsession for the sport shared by both Team India’s players and their fans.
Fronted by India’s star players it was activated across traditional media, consumer events, grass roots outreach and social networking. But it was initially spearheaded by a TVC and viral pledge spot featuring top Indian cricketers.
Meshing real action with interviews, players like Khan, Kohli, Sreesanth, Tendulkar, Dhoni, Singh and Gambhir (along with the official Bleed Blue fan Goonj) share their Indian cricket passion to show how the game is played, loved and revered from the perspective of the athlete.
The campaign’s YouTube channel enabled fans to follow the views of the stars and the fans with candid interviews. Themes included aiming to dominate to the point where opponents fear them, approaching the game head on, breaking down traditional boundaries, achieving dreams, banishing fear/pain/excuses and giving their heart and soul to the game and to their team and their country – unified by a common love for cricket.
This work was supported by similarly themed outdoor, press and online activity
Another key strand of the activity saw 11 million handprints collected across India via an innovative digital and events campaign that asked fans to express their loyalty to the team by simply marking their handprint in blue.
Fans were then able to post their unique handprint to their Facebook page to share with friends and with India’s men in Blue.
Artists were also invited to contribute their interpretations of the “Bleed Blue” theme – hosted on the Bleed Blue online gallery “Be True to Blue”
Nike also used the match between India and Australia in the World Cup Quarter Finals to launch Team India’s ‘Considered’ team kits. These were made from recycled plastic bottles
Everybody wants to be a part of what’s happening and cricket fans are no different. They no longer want passive viewing, but to be actively engaged, to be part of the action and to interact with their favourite cricketers and fellow fans. And they want to be rewarded for their passion and support. Nike’s campaign aimed to deliver on all fronts
Interestingly, while most sponsors are trying to stretch out the time span of their event-related activation as far as possible, Nike decided to focus its TV activity on the business end of the tournament. Perhaps this decision was based on the insight that the competition’s format was widely viewed as being far too long, with the opening stages featuring numerous uncompetitive games which had the potential to turn viewers off.
On the creative image side of the activity, Nike (much like Pepsi’s ‘Change The Game’ work for the same tournament) seems to share similarities from previous activity. The ads featuring topless Indian players daubed in patriotic paint with their arms outstretched certainly echo Nike executions featuring Rooney and Ribery from football World Cups past.