J Walter Thompson has conceptualised the commercial with the core message to viewers that it is time to switch sports
Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | May 18, 2016
Sony Pictures Networks recently unveiled the commercial for their football property – UEFA Euro 2016. The campaign, ‘Time to Switch’, delivers a strong message to sports fans, telling them that it is time to switch to the largest football tournament of 2016.
Taking a direct dig at cricket, ‘Time to Switch’ teasers show how cricketers on a field are suddenly confused about what is happening. In the first teaser film, in a Test match, the bowler appeals loudly to the umpire only to have a red card awarded to him indicating viewers to be ready to switch to football.
Similarly, in the second teaser film, a Test match is in progress and nine fielders form a slip cordon – like a defence wall – much to the surprise of everyone.
It seems that the creative agency, J Walter Thompson, has made the most of it from their own campaign ‘Pepsi Change the Game’ in 2012. That campaign showed Ranbir Kapoor and a young football enthusiast. As Ranbir questions his passion for football, he notices the enthusiast is least interested in being a cricketer as the actor appreciates his footballs skills. The TVC ends with a delightful take of Ranbir displaying his football skills, with hilarious results.
In the upcoming football season, viewers will get to see some of the biggest names in international football including Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Harry Kane (England), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) and Gareth Bale (Wales) aiming to lead their national teams to European glory.
Murtuza Madraswala, Assistant VP, Marketing, Sony Sports Cluster, said, “The ‘Time to Switch’ is an all-inclusive campaign that resonates with sports aficionados and amplifies the excitement for UEFA Euro 2016. The campaign films showcase how football has transcended into the lives of people across different demographics. At the core, our message to the viewer is to gear up for the biggest international football tournament of 2016 this summer on our network. The UEFA Euro 2016 along with the other marquee football properties in SPN’s existing portfolio acknowledges SPN's leadership in sports broadcasting.”
Speaking about the ideation, Senthil Kumar, Chief Creative Officer, JWT, said, “The brief given was to ensure more viewers watch football on the network. Since IPL is going on, we used cricket as a concept in the teasers. The intention was to tell viewers that it is time to switch from watching cricket to watching football.”
While the channel is trying hard to promote the upcoming football event, it must be noted that the other football leagues were shifted to AXN to make space for IPL on their sports cluster.
The UEFA Euro 2016 begins from June 10, 2016 and will kick off at 6.30 PM, 9.30 PM. and 12.30 AM (IST). On the digital front, Sony LIV will live stream all the matches. Extending across a period of 30 days, the UEFA Euro campaign will have a complete 360-degree rollout across mass media, including television, print, outdoor, radio and digital.
If one was not aware, here is something you must know. Prior to the 1980s, football was a popular sport in India. Cricket was a royal game played only by the rich. Even the broadcast for the sport was not easily available. It was only in the late 70s – when India won a match against the West Indies – that cricket gained popularity. In 1983 India won the World Cup and till today Indians worship the sport.
Meanwhile, a whole generation missed other sports which were played earlier. This campaign in some way is trying to ‘woo’ the current generation to watch their favourite soccer league which begins from June 10, 2016.
KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient Nitro India, said, “It’s quite sporting for a broadcaster to take a dig at each other. In the recent past we have seen eyeballs shift from cricket to kabaddi, football and other sports. Once IPL is over, there will be a lull. People will want to tune in to something. So, in a way IPL will help this football league garner some eyeballs.”
Ninad Umargekar, Head of Strategic Planning, Taproot Dentsu, said, “Who is this ad for? If it's for the fans to inform them about the upcoming tournament, then why reference it to cricket? Using cricket to sell football is an old and ineffective formula. If it's for the uninitiated, then it's not persuasive enough. Merely informing someone to change doesn't cause change. I am not able to understand the objective of this campaign.”
Agency: J Walter Thomson, Mumbai
Chief Creative Officer: Senthil Kumar
Creative Directors: Rahul Bhojraj, Sameet Ali Soni
VP and Executive Business Director: Anitha Krishnan
Account Director: Saptarshi Banik
Sr. Account Executive: Sanat Shende
Production house: 30 Seconds of Fame
Director: Uzer Khan
Producer: Sunil Shetty