India-Pakistan Match: Cringeworthy Advertisements Should be Condemned

The biggest festival in the world of cricket is around and the celebrations in all the member countries are evident. The ICC World Cup 2019 has always been the largest event in the country. In the pursuit to garner followers from all across the country, in a very competitive market of broadcasting, the broadcasters give their best to seek attention.

Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the ICC World Cup 2019 has been running highly intensified advertisement campaigns to promote the event and is reaching out to the cricket loving audience via print and digital advertising techniques.

Sunday, June 16th is the day awaited by the people of two of the most populated nations in the world. Both the countries will be facing each other again on the field, which will perhaps be the most followed match in the World Cup.

A campaign called ‘Mauka Muka’, which started to increase the anticipation and excitement around India-Pakistan match in 2015 World Cup and got viral in the social media. This advertisement appeared numerous times in the millions of television sets in the country.

As projected in the first video from the series, where a man from Karachi, Pakistan waits to celebrate the victory each time the World Cup happens, but in vain because its India which gets the taste of victory every time. The same man is shown growing old in the whole timeline. Then there were videos showcasing matches with other countries too. But Pakistan deserved to be mocked every time.

The recent ad by Star Sports shows, two people of Pakistan talking and denoting India as their ‘abbu’ to signify the superiority of India from Pakistan. 16th June, the matchday also happens to be the Father’s Day (coincidentally) and hence many advertisement campaigns with the hashtag #BaapBaapHotaHai is going viral and gaining a lot of followers in India because such advertisement has a slight touch of humor which is similar to our “Patriotic” feelings, where we are superior to Pakistan every time.

The toxic relationship between the governments is normalized to an extent that broadcasters of such repute and reach felt okay to air the advertisements. The mockery and humiliation of Pakistan, just like any drug is giving some sort of ‘high’ to us. And it is addictive!

To counter the ads made in India, Pakistan has recently launched a video mocking the Indo-Pak clashes that took place in February this year. A satire on Indian Airforce pilot Abhinandan Vardhaman, who was captured by the Pakistan army after the clashes took place.

In the video, the actor playing Abhinandan is being asked questions related to the team in the match to which he answers, “Sorry sir! I am not supposed to tell you this.”

It was very similar to his response in the original incident where he was asked about his operation in the foreign soil. Now in the ad, when he is asked to go, he takes away the cup of tea, that he was holding in his hands and then the person asking him questions stops him and takes back the ‘cup’ from him. Now the cup clearly signifies the world cup and the picturized Abhinandan was clearly a mockery on India.

It was highly insensitive of them to make an ad based on the repercussions of a political act, which in fact has no relation with cricket. They’ve touched the sensitive nerves of all the patriotic citizens of India and have established a sense of outrage in the country. They should have kept the war on the field and the one on borders different.

Oh, but did I forget to tell you that it was all started in India by one of the Broadcasting Giants? Am I getting offended by the similar jokes my country made on them?

What about the one where we mocked them inferior to us, the one where India is treated as their baap? Star Sports, as the broadcaster of World Cup, should not be expected to make such petty ads and pathetic hurling of comments. This channel sets an example to all other broadcasting organizations but this behavior might only increase the chances of personal rivalry between the traditional ‘enemies’.

VSeven Pictures, a youtube channel has crossed all lines while making YouTube videos before all the matches between India and Pakistan.

Now as the creative world of advertisements in our country functions, other brands are following the same pattern of using India-Pakistan mockery. This recent advertisement invested in Ranbir Kapoor to sell their product using the traction of the World Cup.

It is hard to understand why ICC didn’t point out the mistakes of the ad agencies or the broadcasters of the countries who make advertisements of below the belt nature and those which are beyond the topics of cricket.

There should be proper guidelines by the leading force, i.e. ICC about what can be the limits which can be touched by the teams and playing members. Secondly, big institutions such as Star Sports or the ones from Pakistan should refrain from unethical activities such as personal mockery.

source: PTI

Let us all enjoy the thrill, the excitement, the joy and the disappointment of it. Let Cricket remain a Gentleman’s game.

Harshita Malik
Harshita Malik

Trained in journalism, fights for gender and human rights issues. Open to talks and criticism. Believes in individual wishes and opinions. A mediocre reader of non-fiction.

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