Axe and the IPL effect

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It’s raining commercials during the live telecast of IPL. Virtually every second, every inch of real estate on the television screen is used for branding commercial messages. The format of the game – a break every 5 minutes in between overs was an advertiser’s dream. But IPL goes one step beyond and places ads between deliveries. Cringe-worthy, but the ‘anything goes’ mood of IPL makes one feel generous towards such intrusions, I guess. In this milieu the one brand that stood out for clever use of the environment or mahaul as it were, is Axe.

The short 15-second ads give the impression that it’s an extension of the live telecast until the Axe twist happens.

The ad seems to have had a teaser with a link to a Twitter and Facebook page. There are two other executions: catch and stretcher.

As an aside, one of the best examples of a brand using the media environment to its advantage must be the ‘Ashes Break’ ad for Kit Kat. During the final Ashes test in 2005, Kit Kat created an ad that looked like a stumpcam version of the batsmen taking a break – thus leading the viewer to initially believe that Channel 4 made a mistake by continuing with the live telecast during the ad break.

Axe, also known as Lynx in some markets, has been consistent for years now on its positioning of ‘gets you the girl’. The idea too has stayed fresh with several great executions. The common factor among all the executions is the portrayal of ‘in your face’, physical attraction of girls to the Axe man. While there have been several great commercials of Axe across markets, the ones most memorable for me are the short ones: like this one. I was wondering when brands will take advantage of the IPL through specially created ads; perhaps Axe has mad a beginning.

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  1. What is interesting is that a lot of IPL related advertising is also outside the TV. For instance, there are two billboards on Residency Road in Bangalore by KF, one of which features a batsman just after he's hit the ball and the second billboard has a huge cricket ball. In between these two billboards, there are streamers leading from the batsman to the ball and it looks like the ball has been hit from the bat.

    Its a great idea to use spatial elements in executing an outdoor. But sadly, some ads during this time, seem to be executed just for the sake of being executed. That leads me to think.. are there any ad-awards coming up ????


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