The run up to the India-Pakistan clash kicked off the Mauka Mauka ad series which is one of the most popular ad campaigns — something that mainstream advertising had not seen in a long time
These are clearly good times for advertising. The “Mauka Mauka” campaign created by Star Sports is proving to be one of the most popular ad campaigns centred on the cricket World Cup. After the first television commercial that was based on the much-awaited India-Pakistan clash on February 15 went viral, the Internet was flooded with spoofs and responses to the same. It generated a dialogue of sorts, in a strictly tongue-in-cheek-tone, something that mainstream advertising had not seen in a very long time.
Not many know that “Mauka Mauka” was not originally supposed to be a campaign. Suresh Triveni, director of Bubblewrap Films, that has created the series commercials, says, “The creatives from the in-house Star team gave us the brief for the India-Pakistan match. They had a script in hand and we (Suresh and Ketaki Guhagarkar, the producer) directed it and fleshed it out.” It was a tricky task because an India-Pakistan cricket clash is known to be a sensitive topic on both sides of the border. “We had to make sure it was friendly banter without giving out any negative vibes,” Suresh adds. They finished shooting it in five days, starting on January 29 and wrapping it up by February 4. “The ad went live the next day. The guys uploaded it and it went viral. It got some two million hits within a day and the guys from Star told us that they felt the idea had potential to go really big. By then ‘Mauka Mauka’ had become a catch phrase,” Suresh recalls.
What made the idea more interesting was the fact that it hinged on the result of the match. “Luckily for us India won the match and that changed everything. Initially, we were to create only one ad for that one match, it being touted as the most important match of the tournament. But after the great response, we decided to make more ads, one ad per week, every time India plays,” says Suresh. However, the thought is not driven by optimism alone. The team also has a backup plan of a set of ads in case India loses. “Hopefully we don’t need to use them,” he says with a smile.
The response the ads are getting both in terms of spoofs and direct appreciation has only stoked the creative team’s morals. The first ad even found a mention in a publication in Pakistan. “I am happy that they spoke about it in a positive light. They said it was a clever and clean ad, nothing offensive or below the belt. The comments on the videos make me very happy. As a filmmaker I think it is a big achievement for me,” says a satisfied Suresh, adding, “I think it was just good fortune, it worked in our favour, and with India winning every match, it has only helped us. The feeling of watching people holding ‘Mauka Mauka’ placards or chanting the phrase is phenomenal.”
Several spoofs of the campaign are doing the rounds and among them the one created by The Viral Fever is turning out to be a favourite. Arunabh Kumar, founder and CEO of TVF Group, says, “Initially, we had planned to upload our video #SabkePhodenge on our main channel when we cross one million subscribers, which we thought would happen only after the India v/s UAE match. So the timing would have been perfect. Recently, our flagship channel crossed a million subscribers and we weren’t sure if they audience would even like the spoof. We didn’t want to do anything wrong after hitting a landmark, so we kept it on hold.” However, the team decided to take a chance and create a spoof video in the lead up to the vital India v/s West Indies game on Friday, March 6. “The response we have been getting is amazing, there are many who are even saying that they liked it much more than the original ad. It has been made by Recycle Bin, which is made by our non-fiction team. I think the original ad had great insight. It maintained that connect with Indians in a way that everyone could identify with it. India’s performance too was excellent and that has helped us all immensely. After receiving feedback, it feels like we have been rooting for the win as a country,” he adds.
Suresh too has good things to say about it. “I have loved every spoof and I think each is better than the other. The Viral Fever has created an excellent spoof. I am happy that these parodies are keeping the buzz alive. I think this could be the best form of flattery, more so because it is getting people together in a way. And personally I’d love it if we brought the cup back,” he says.