MSM’s Integrated ‘Bulaava’ Campaign Calls India To IPL7

Like several others activating their IPL 7 rights, the MSM channels airing the cricket, Sony Max and Sony Six, are running a multi-phase strategy for its ‘Come On Bulaava Aaya Haiâ’ IPL 7 campaign.


Developed in partnership with Havas Worldwide and the musical duo Vishal and Shekhar, the initiative’s key word ‘Bulaava’ means ‘calling’ and the campaign is built around the idea that fans simply can’t miss the tournament so whenever they are summoned by the IPL’s familiar bugle theme they just stop whatever they are doing immediately and run to the nearest TV set.


Aiming to engage with people across all age groups, genders, languages and demographic/economic segments, all spots include a new Vishal and Shekhar catchy tune as the broadcaster again blends music and cricket in an attempt to get the nation dancing, singing and watching cricket.


The first leg of the official broadcaster’s marketing kicked off on 14 March via a two-spot phase:


Aatma (featuring a little devil exorcism theme)



and ‘Mother & Son’ (revolving around visiting an unwell mother)



The second phase was led by a further two spots.


In one ad a Bengali bride on her way to the ‘mandap’ flees when she hears the signature IPL tune blaring in the background.



The other spot, an election-themed one, sees a politician boycott his hunger strike to watch the IPL.



Another TV-led strand of the campaign sees the broadcaster release a 60-second music video style montage spot featuring people pulling up their collars (a signature IPL move this season) and running off to watch the IPL.



A snippet within this video features star Bollywood director-choreographer Farah Khaan – who was a key part of last year’s ‘Jumping Japan’ IPL campaign (see previous case study).




This year’s work spans a four week period prior to the start of the tournament and is supported by a 360 degree rollout across mass media channels.


As well as airing on no fewer than 95 television channels, executions are also running across print, radio, digital, outdoor, on-ground, mobile, BTL and out of home.


The campaign can also be viewed on http://www.SonyLIV.com, the online home of Sony Entertainment Network.


Other innovative strands to the initiative include MSM linking with 9XM, a 24/7 Bollywood music channel, to create a video featuring its popular mascots Bade-Chote who ask one another two questions.


Firstly, what is the meaning of ‘Lamb dand, gol pand, bhaag daud pratiyogita’, and secondly what is the word that best describes the act of raising one’s collar and making a dash for a television set on hearing the IPL trumpet call.


The answers are that the first is Hindi for cricket and the second is the Hindi word ‘Buckram’.


The video also ends with the two mascots running into a house to watch an IPL match.


In the print space the campaign is being promoted in 21-plus publications, including: The Times of India, Navbharat Times, Maharashtra Times, Vijay Karnataka, Dainik Saamana, Daily Thanthi, The Hindu, Vijayavani, Deccan Chronicle, Saakshi, Eenadu, Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Divya Marathi, Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, Gujarat Samachar, Lokmat, Ajit, Anand Bazaar Patrika and The Telegraph.


Outdoor agency Storyboard Brandcom (part of the Milestone Brandcom Group) worked with the broadcaster on its IPL 7 OOH plan which sees the channels’ coverage (complete with huge upturned collars on billboards) promoted on 500 sites across 97 cities in India.


While the broadcaster has also tied up with 11 radio stations (including Radio Mirchi, Red FM, Big FM and Fever) in 60 cities to promote the IPL.


The broadcaster is also running an extensive set of ‘on-ground engagement activities’ in 400 LC1 (small-medium sized towns) – such as going door-to-door and asking people the live IPL score (those answering correctly are awarded channel related prizes and goodies).


Sony Max is also running April and May in-store and in-city campaign strands that include its ‘Bulava Express’ bright yellow open-top bus which is touring through 13 major Indian cities ( Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Chennai, Mumbai, Nasik, Indore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Nagpur) and running events and parties along its route.


In the digital the broadcaster has presence on the official IPL 7 app and is also engaging live pre- and in-game across social media channels.


The star anchor presenters of the channel’s ‘Extra Innings’ chat show – Archana Vijaya, Shibani Dandekar, Samir Kochhar and Gaurav Kapur – are interacting with viewers on Twitter through the tournament.




Compared to last season’s campaign, MSM increased its own marketing budget for its tournament multi-channel campaign by 10% to 15%.


The investment  shows in the sheer size and scale of a truly national, multi-channel campaign is perfectly illustrated by MSM’s IPL 7 work.


The number of broadcast channels, print titles and cities/towns within the outdoor and experiential strands are staggering.


‘This year’s campaign is a unique thought that stems from the insight of how the passion of IPL overtakes every aspect of these different people’s lives highlighting their hunger for the tournament and eventually creating a huge national frenzy,’ explains Vaishali Sharma, VP Marketing & Communications at MAX


This year’s IPL faces more challenges than previous editions of cricket’s biggest tournament.


Late scheduling, legal disputes, betting scandals and a generally more cautious approach have led to slightly less buzz around the event.


Plus, for once, the IPL isn’t India’s main event this year: that honour goes to the country’s mammoth general election (the world’s largest democratic process).


This led to the first round of matches being played overseas in the UAE, with the games only returning to India after the first 15 days of competition, and to the lack of the usual glitzy inaugural ceremony.


All this presents IPL commercial partners with a new set of challenges.


Yet, despite media planners and market watchers reporting that many of the deals were signed at the last minute, estimating sponsorship revenues down around 15% for the seventh edition of the tournament (not to mention a reduction in the number of matches from 76 to 60), official broadcaster Multi Screen Media (MSM) has increased the cost of on-air inventory by around 20% to 25%.


MSM points to the rise in IPL viewers between IPL 5’s 164 million and last year’s IPL 6’s 200 million as a reason for the rise.


Commercials partners do seem willing to play ball at the higher prices as the broadcaster signed up nine sponsors before the tournament began.


As well as tournament title partner Pepsi, MSM’s nine on-air sponsors for IPL 7 include presenting sponsors Karbonn Mobile and Vodafone, plus associate sponsors Amazon, Havells, Perfetti, Marico, TVS and Cadbury have been signed on as associate sponsors.


Rohit Gupta, MSM’s president of network sales, licensing and telephony says that despite the issues surrounding this year’s IPL and after a slower than usual start due to awaiting legal verdicts and final match schedules, the channel sold 70% of its inventory within two weeks to sponsors and individual spot buyers.


Interestingly, he comments that this year has seen a marked increase in the FMCG sponsors


‘There are two things that really worked for us: there are lesser number of afternoon matches this time; that has helped get more advertisers. Moreover, all the teams are new and there is no clear winner. They are all strong teams and there is renewed interest in the property, adds Gupta.




Sony Max Website



Sony Max YouTube



Sony Max Facebook



Sony Six Website



Sony Six YouTube










IPL Website



Featured Showcases