Delight Ideas Journeys

Banter and babies

Banter and babies create Babysitting campaign at Star Sports

In December 2018, at a match in Perth during the India-Australia Test series, Australian captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine was heard asking Indian wicketkeeper Rishab Pant if he could babysit his kids while he took his wife to the movies. Not one to stay silent, Pant returned the taunt with a jibe about Paine being just a temporary captain. The exchange, caught on the stump microphone, went viral and had fans in splits.

At Star Sports, however, it was not only cause for laughter but also the perfect opportunity. The Australian team was coming to India just two months later for the Paytm India vs Australia ODI. The timing was ripe to engage viewers and drum up some excitement. And that’s how the Babysitting campaign was born.

 

Kicking off with a teaser showing Virender Sehwag holding a baby’s milk bottle, the campaign followed with a hilarious and cheeky video that showed the former cricketer looking after a group of adorable babies dressed in the trademark yellow and green jersey of the Australian cricket team. “Team India is ready to babysit the Australians,” Sehwag said to the camera, flipping Paine’s taunt right back at his team. The idea instantly connected with viewers and the promo grabbed eyeballs.

“The campaign amplifies the fun banter that fans look forward to in every India vs Australia series as it’s one of the great rivalries in the world of cricket.”

Gautam Thakar, CEO Star Sports

When Taproot Dentsu presented the script to the Star Sports team for the first time, the excitement was palpable.

"When we heard the script, we were laughing along. The babysitting idea was very topical and it was appealing to not just the cricket fans but to a much larger audience. It was really different from other sports’ campaigns that we had done, " Rajiv Mathrani, CMO Star Sports.

“We wanted to kick off the summer of cricket on the right note with a campaign that not only resonated with consumers but also worked at an emotional level and 'Babysitting' nailed it on all fronts.”
Rajiv Mathrani, CMO Star Sports

But the team knew that executing the idea was going to be far from child’s play. Sehwag’s involvement in the campaign was critical because of his image as a cricketer known for making tongue in cheek remarks, including as a commentator. Thankfully, he agreed. But the next challenge on the shoot was a slightly more unusual one.

“So far in my career, I have never been on a set with so many babies on it,” Gaurav Chaturvedi, Cricket Marketing team, laughs, explaining the safety and sensitivity measures that were taken by the team – nursery rhymes playing on the set, toys everywhere and oodles of patience from everyone involved, including Sehwag. It all went off without a hitch and 5 days after shooting, the video was released, generating exactly the buzz that the marketing team was hoping for.

Sudhir Shukla, Head of Cricket Marketing believes the balance in the narrative resonated with the viewers. “We wanted to stoke banter in the right spirit of the game. In fact, Mathew Hayden’s balancing act in the second promo had even the non-fans joining the conversation on social media.”

The spot has made the right noise ahead of this summer of cricket. Stay tuned for more awesome campaigns from the team.

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