Interest in Cricket has gone the full circle in the last couple of years or so. What started off as a low point with the exit of the Indian team from the world cup in the initial rounds to the world cup to high of twent20 triumph and the CB series victory. Marketers around the country have suddenly rediscovered cricket as a good means of reaching the masses. According to a news item in Economic times, with these victories very few advertisers can afford to ignore the sport now.
In this context I found two contrasting bits of information which I thought would force us to think more on the issue. The first one spoke about how HUL has roped in Yuvraj to endorse Lifebouy, which marks a change in HUL policy of using Bollywood stars as Brand Ambassadors for its brands. The second news item spoke about how the cola companies are shifting their focus from cricket to youth. The Youngistaan campaign of Pepsi with Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone shows how the focus is shifing and with Coke using Hritikh Roshan in "Jasan Mana Le" Campaign the urnaround seems to be more or less complete. Though this was before the victory of Team
Here what we see is how different companies are approaching the same issue in different ways and much differently from how they had done earlier. All these companies have been major advertisers and have a war chest to spend on ads. Maybe the Cola Companies have realized the risks of using cricket as a major means of promoting their products like risking the fortune of your campaign on the fortunes of the cricket team, and with the controversies bogging players one can never be sure ... But then why is HUL looking at cricket is it that it has realized that after all these years rather than risking your fortune on Bollywood stars it might be safer to bet on cricket.