A brand called India

Published: Wednesday, September 1, 1999, 5:30 [IST]
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The Indian cricket team has already scored a major victory over their opponents well before the inauguration of the world cup. This definitely is a great way to start off! 11 of the 15 Indian cricketers, sends by the selectors to England are endorsing one product or the other. In other words, there are 11 product ambassadors in our 'Pyaara; team This doesn't come as any surprise to the cricket crazy Indians, who somehow never get tired of the game, and with the players. Infact, there are players who are endorsing competitive products in the same category too here.

A perfect example is that of the Close-up and Colgate and the subsequent advertising duel. The chances of missing your Air India flight to London are more than assured, but you just can't miss a day on television without catching a glimpse of either the boyish Sachin smiling and showing his 32 dental attributes, synchronized with the background sound of that peculiar brushing sound. Incidentally, we are made to believe that this magical brushing background score accompanies this little wonder wherever he moves around! Or catch Jadeja effortlessly smiling into the camera, as if he was born smiling, expounding the intricate details on how to confidently 'Pattao' a vision-impaired- belle (who for some strange and unexplainable medical reason can't recognize Ajay Jadeja, though she knows him by his name!) All this and much more, only by brushing with the right toothpaste.

Never trouble your grey matter munching hard over such matters. These are the brain waves of the dream merchants, who have managed to commercialize the nation's greatest frenzy, into the greatest marketing opportunity Do we say, "Hail the advertising gurus!" Like true product ambassadors, both Sachin and Jadeja need to be keeping a tab on the number of times they flash their white- washed teeth's while on the field. Would this also mean that Sachin should see to it that Jadeja gets out faster, so that he doesn't occupy much of the TV commercial airtime! Vice versa too applies ...Now you know which direction to point your fingers at, when Sachin gets run-out while Jadeja is on the non- striker's end.

"Anything for my brand."uh Sachin's 'English basket of worries' doesn't finish there .As the most widely marketed brand inside the team, he can't just satisfy one brand manager alone with his 100 watt smile .As an unbiased Ambassador, he needs to be seen drinking Pepsi during those short batting breaks, in front of millions of television audience also, who, without doubt won't miss a single gesture of his. In technical terms, Focused Audience! But, before warned, do not be let your eyebrows rise even an inch when Sachin flashes his VISA card to pay for his Pepsi during the drink break.

After all, a commitment is a commitment, whatever said and done, right. Even if that is not permitted, who can deny him from going in for an' Adidas, Shoe Change', every half an hour, again in front of the no questions asked TV cameras, focusing on the soles this time. Poor Sachin. All of one brand, yet having to live up to the whims and fancies of many others. What else can he do about the fact that when he plays, the whole of the country stops- nuns start praying, grannies start chanting Sanskrit mantras while knitting and college canteens become silent. Not his fault at all. 'They' are some times referred to as the best opening pair in the world cricket- The Ganguly -Sachin combination. But the Bengali Tiger-Babu's taste buds have a preference for Coke, or so he tells us in the commercials, while the Martha little- genius, well..., we all know what he liquid he uses to take bath.

Pepsi, without any doubt. It's interesting to see that these 2 can score effortlessly in the first 50- 55 minutes of the game, but one or the other manages to get out before the scheduled Drinks break. Me think, this could be the Brand factor. How could you expect Ganguly to drink Pepsi in front of millions of people, while he himself vows to the contrary? Wouldn't it amount to treachery! The convenient way, is to play a lofted drive, which in technical terms would be termed by the expert commentator as a 'Lapse of Concentration!' Our Bengali Babu has another complaint though, which he shares with Jadeja too. . Did I hear any body say 'Unity'. They feel it is 'two much' on the organizers part, not to have allowed the king of good times, Kingfisher Beer to sponsor the Drinks interval.

Their complaint does seem genuinely spirited, after all they weren't being paid to dance in their Bermudas for nothing. Any way, certain things are well beyond the comprehension of the organizers. Do also keep your eye on Mr. Robin Singh during this world cup lunch hours, if they are covering that too in ESPN-STARS, whether he still eats that Britannia biscuits for lunch, or has he discarded it for other English cuisine's.

We all know, what keeps Robin ticking even at this not so young age. Do spot Dravid walk in with the helmets on, while he comes in to the crease, and how, in a matter of minutes, he decides to take it off. And yes, the well-shampooed hair, which he has, is no less than the best of the helmets. For confirmation, clarify with the HERO, His Highness Jadeja. He will vouch for it -100 % dandruff free And relax while you see our wicky Mongia run after 4 squares instead of the 3 stumps in his S KUMAR SUITS .He has a reason to!. . Now it remains to be seen whether the coloured clothing revolution will give way to this suit revolution.

You never can say, like how Sunny Gavaskar explodes into his microphone, "It's after all cricket, any thing is possible" Let's reveal certain other trade secrets also matter of factly (!) and get on with the game of cricket. Well, if you have go the hang of it already, well, then do I need tell you why Kumble and Srinath constantly keep taking wickets. You guessed it right .For 'that' unplanned Drinks break, which follows the fall of a wicket, catching the TV guys off guard.

And if you are wondering what has happened to the team captain, who uncharacteristically has been in the middle for more time than his normal quota of 5 minutes, take e closer peep at this wristy batsman's wrist. Hanging there will be the TISSOT watch , of which he has been appointed the Ambassador. Anyway, the country needs to thank these Swiss Manufacturers profusely, if Azhar can rediscover his form atleast this way .There is no other catharsis than watching Azhar play those wristy shots .Any thing for cricket from Azhar's blade, I mean the bat.


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