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By Malay Desai

From: Lowe Lintas and Partners

A group of boys are shown arriving at a flat patch of a desert to play cricket. The voice-over begins by mentioning the 42-degree temperature and proceeds to talk about the means which the boys don’t possess (grass, pavilion et al) but still enjoy the game. The entirely slow-motion visuals culminate in the boys jumping over one another in celebration. The 60-second film ends with cricketer Sachin Tendulkar saying “Khelte raho, khush raho” before gulping from a Coke bottle.

Why we Like

This very month four years ago, PepsiCo let go of Sachin Tendulkar as an ambassador in favour of younger stars. We believed it was a costly folly, and after the cricketing legend’s purple patches and 100 centuries that followed, Pepsi too would agree on that. Rival Coca-Cola, which took more than two years to sign on Sachin, has only now used him in a major TVC, a likeable one at that. And after Pepsi has attempted to shift focus from cricket to football, we’re glad Coke hasn’t ‘changed the game’ and furthered its ‘happiness’ route.

The film is wonderfully shot (nearly half as good as the opening sequence of Slumdog Millionaire which is a compliment) and bears a hummable background score. The supporting cast – a bunch of shiny eyed, tanned kids from the country – are easy elements to create slow-mo happiness, but we’re not taking anything away from the production. In fact, some moments such as the flying chappals and the stance of the batsman are beautifully thought out. (We can’t help revisiting Sachin’s Pepsi ‘Dil Maange More’ spot of the 90s, also shot in a sandy place!)

The magic of this spot lies in its words, and we suspect lyricist Prasoon Joshi’s pen has been at work again; the double usage of ‘tapmaan – bayalees degree’ is total brilliance.

That said, the moment at which all of this (okay, not all, but it feels so) goes spiraling down is when Tendulkar appears and sips Coke. Why the need for him to gatecrash this otherwise lovable commercial, we wonder, especially in his much-ridiculed hairstyle. If the agency thought the ad won’t stand without a starry presence, it just had to look at the success of the ‘Sunshine wali asha’ TVC not too long back. We guess Coke couldn’t resist getting him on after long keeping him only to corporate films and smaller promotions.

We’re getting by this summer by watching this one on loop, we’ll just looking away in the last few seconds.

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