| Updated on October 04, 2019

Hype around the hoop!

Could this be basketball’s take-off moment in India? With no less than two heads of state — President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi — talking about the NBA games in Mumbai during the Howdy Modi event in Houston, huge hype has already been created for the event that aims to promote the sport in India.

Indiana Pacers will face Sacramento Kings during the two pre-season NBA games on October 4 and 5 in Mumbai. Brands like PepsiCo’s sports drink Gatorade, fashion retailer Myntra, personal care giant L’Oreal that jumped headlong into the ring, taking a bet on the event as sponsors, must no doubt be pleased as punch at Trump publicising the event.

So must Sony Pictures Sports Network, which is broadcasting the games, and has been busy creating excitement through a promotional video featuring Priyanka Chopra against the Gateway of India and ‘NBA in my Backyard’ tag line. A big chunk of tickets getting sold out within days of opening and Sony’s promo video registering phenomenal views augur well for the event and the sport’s future in India, although to really take off, we will need a star of our own to be in the games, much like Yao Ming’s presence helped it grow popular in China. Tune in for live telecast on Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 at 7.00 pm today. Expert analysis starts at 6.30 pm on the channels.

Occasion marketing

It’s that time of the year when marketers are on their toes — with festive occasions like Navratri, Dussehra and Diwali upon us. But no longer is occasion marketing a simple matter of paying an ode to a festival because the resonating themes today are so divergent. For instance, look at Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 when India pulled out all stops to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Father of the Nation. With Swachh Bharat campaign now on the same day, for brands it must have been a dilemma to choose whether to revolve their messaging around cleanliness, a nugget from Gandhi’s life, or go with the plastic elimination drive campaign. Vistara, for instance, picked on Gandhiji’s ‘Be the Change You Want to See’ line and came up with a Be the Change@30,000 feet campaign wherein it asked passengers to hand-write a social change they felt passionately about on a postcard.

Dabur joined a plogging (jogging and removing plastic trash) drive in Delhi as part of the govenrment’s Swachhata Hi Sewa – Plastic waste shramdaan campaign. The trend seems to be that the era of simple celebratory greetings wishing the nation on a big occasion is over — rather it’s all about picking up a cause that fits the occasion. Remember Surf Excel’s Colours Unite campaign for Holi?

Published on October 04, 2019

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