15th November, 2020

Catches of the match, IPL 2020

#IPL2020 #dream11IPL
The IPL window has grown extremely popular over these years with more and more brands patronising the grand event to promote themselves. There have been instances of brands gaining popularity through this, classic examples being: Micromax, Snapdeal, Muthoot Finance, Zoo Zoos f rom Vodafone, Polycab and many more.

I always feel that to understand the advertising landscape and the brands that are active in India all it takes is to watch a set of matches. This gives a clear picture of the big spenders in the country. So the objective of this blog is to capture the brands that got featured and also to highlight some of the good work done by brands, some bad work and some extremely bad work. There were some brands which only used the opportunity to shout loud, louder and loudest without a strong proposition to share. Few categories had to stay away as the weather conditions were not favourable for them – Ice-creams, soft drinks etc., Some of the brands moved smartly into capitalising on an upcoming festival “Diwali” and unveiled promotions around it, notable ones being Ajio.com, Titan, and Coke.

Most of the brands tried some connections to bring in the Corona virus into their theme: Paints, Fans, Laminates.

STAR, National and Regional channels enabled brands to focus on their relevant markets thereby avoiding unnecessary media spillage. HotStar has further localised the advertising opportunities where usage / location based advertising has boomed.

The usage of celebrities across categories is a proof that the quality of creative is sliding down. The easiest way to crack a brand is to use a celebrity and write a few lines. “Phone Pe “ and “CRED” are great cases where the celebrities are going beyond and engaging with the audience. Using Aamir Khan as a “dummy” in the CEAT ads is a very bold approach and one needs to see the success of this communication. But the overall feel of the creative scene seems to be pathetic and not encouraging comparing the kind of talent we have. This also could be an indication of over spending rather than smart spending.

The big list of popular celebrities who occupied enough advertising space: Ayushmann Khurana, Vicky Kaushal, Aamir Khan, Amitabh, Shahrukh, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, MS Dhoni, Saurav Ganguly, Sachin, Salman, Ranbir, Ranveer, Deepika, Hemamalini, Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh, Hardik, Pant, Rohit, Shikar Dhawan.

Let’s try and take a look at the communication and brands category wise:

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
Colgate Toothbrush’s “Taxiwala” proposition is a very strong one while the communication may not be highly engaging, but the thought of germs in toothbrush is a powerful one.

Coke introduced its Cola advertising as a continuation f rom the old series with Ranbir and Paresh Rawal, a very timely one.

Five Star’s “Do Nothing” is an interesting shift f rom “Suresh / Ramesh”.

Dairy Milk Silk’s romantic proposition got stronger with the interesting 30 sec with the boy travelling with an umbrella, was def initely engaging

ITC’s sponsorship enabled them to promote their brands: Savlon, Engage, Bingo and Sun Feast range.

The big colas featured late while Thumbs up was stealing the thunder with Ranveer Singh f rom the beginning. Salman’s shifted loyalties into the Pepsi camp.

Sprite’s Drone Ad with Anirudh in South and another Ambassador for the rest of the country only went to prove that the southern markets need to be handled with care, but the same care should have been taken while conceptualising the TVC.

  • Bourbon

  • Sprite

  • Thumbs up

  • Coke

  • Dark Fantasy

  • Fortune Oil and other products

  • Dairy Milk Silk

  • Five Star

  • Bingo - Promo

  • Colgate Vedshakti

  • Colgate Zig Zag Tooth brush : Taxiwala / Ayushman Khurana

  • 7up

  • PEPSI – Salman Khan

  • Sunfeast


  • Sensodyne

  • Maggi Tomato Ketchup

  • Maggi Noodles

  • Savlon

  • Tide Ultra : Triple action by Ayushman Khurana

  • Engage Deos

  • EVA Deodorants

Building Materials & Construction Industry
Nothing really stuck in the heads, except for the Alia Bhatt and Ayushman Khurana’s Colors of India campaign, still I felt the connect with the brand was lagging and therefore the recall.

Asian Paints with a simple story line was average.

JSW tried connecting some of Rishab Pant’s old incidents f rom his on f ield experiences were stupid and too far fetched.

  • JSW Steel with Rishab Pant

  • JSW Coloron Roof ing Sheets Rishab Pant

  • JSW Paints with Alia Bhatt and Ayushman Khurana

  • JSW Cement with Ganguly

  • Indigo Floor Paints

  • Berger Silk: Kareena Kapoor

  • Berger Paints: Akshay Kumar

  • Asian Paints Weather Shield

  • Polycab wires

  • Merino Laminates

  • Century Ply : Virus protecting furniture

Automobiles & Components
Clean road shots continued to occupy this ever challenging category, where FORD for a change concentrated on SERVICE aspect - a smart decision to move away f rom the clutter.

Aamir featuring as a Dummy : an expensive celebrity that way, the question is Why should there be a Celebrity at all?

MG Gloster’s Abbreviation led campaign with the kid stood out only with the feature “Reverse parking”.

Hero’s corporate message focussing on COVID was run of the mill

  • MRF Two Wheeler : Virat Kohli


  • CEAT : Aamir Khan / Don’t be a dummy

  • MG

  • KIA



  • HERO corporate / Covid

  • HERO Xtreme : Virat Kohli

  • TVS Jupiter : Amitabh

  • TVS Apache

  • TVS Victor : Dhoni / Amitabh


  • FORD Service

RBI continued with its cautioning messages, AMFI (mutual fund association) used almost all cricketers to drive the message “SAFE HAI”. CRED’s simplicity came across as complicated to a lot of people.

  • HDFC Bank

  • RBI with Amitabh

  • Mutual Fund

  • CRED

  • Master Card

Aamir’s multiple storyline TVCs were endearing and engaging with his presence and simple story telling.

Amazon with idea of “Khushiyon ka Door” didn’t make an impact.

AJIO came late, but with its f ilming and presentation was creating some engagement.

  • Phone Pe

  • Amazon

  • Flipkart

  • Ajio

  • Bharat Matrimony: Dhoni

  • Housing.com

  • Pharmeasy

Online Gaming
Dream 11’s interesting series, did justice for being the Title Sponsor. Two distinct set of commercials certainly created impact for that brand. Lot of consumers seem to have logged in to the brand.

  • Dream 11

  • My 11 Circle

  • MPL

Coding can be done even by 3 year olds looks like a tall promise f rom Whitehat Jr another Byju group initiative. BYJU’s with SRK had some interesting TVCs last year, not this year.

UpGrad was absolute nonsense and I think they tried to recover with another meaningless TVC.

  • Byju’s

  • White hat Jr

  • UpGrad

As usual, NO COMMENTS.

  • Sterling Reserve

  • British Empire

  • Mc Dowell’s

  • Royal Stag

  • 100 pipers

Sporto which came in during the latter part of the season looked good but the messaging was confusing.

  • Paragon : Hrithik

  • Sporto

Luxury Products
We can afford to miss these.




Facebook’s thought of Open up your thoughts to expand your world was interesting. (the same thought translated into Tamil “Ulagam viriyum” was funny). Regional agencies have a lot of potential to tap these.

JOSH, the replacement for Tik Tok attempted something interesting.

Instagram Stories was inviting.

  • Whatsapp

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • JOSH

Home Appliances
Anti-Virus Fans was a real killer, goes only to prove how businesses are getting desperate.

BOSCH’s PowerPoint advertising was pathetic, especially f rom a brand of this stature.

  • Aquaguard


  • Polycab Anti virus fans

  • Bosch Washing machines

  • Luminox Inverters

Swiggy was a good repeat. The new TVC encouraging people to order def initely had some good performers, as their expressions were highly noticeable.

  • Urban Company

  • Swiggy

Mobile & Telecom
Surprisingly Vodafone’s communication wasn’t impressive.

Jio continued with its song and dance. The brand is still struggling to f ind a strong proposition for itself.

  • Vodafone Name Change and Giganet

  • Jio

  • Apple

  • Vivo V20 Twins

  • Oppo F17 Pro Diwali Edition

  • Samsung Galaxy

  • One Plus

AMUL innerwear

This larger than life projection has never appealed (probably I am not the consumer) but I still remember the “PAN PARAG” TVC!

  • Kamla Pasand

  • Pan Bahar

  • Vimal

STAR PLUS promoting their own shows.

Let’s hope IPL 2021 will unfold with more interesting work that is relevant!

Subbu P

Vice President,
OTS Advertising