The latest advertisement for Star Sports is puzzling, to say the least. I sympathize with Star Sports for all its tension about the conduct of IPL and the delay but the latest advertisement seems to have been executed in haste.
The advertisement features a watchman of an apartment block. He is shown being ill-treated by the residents. Why? No one knows! The watchman is shown talking to his family on his mobile. He tells them, “It is five months since I have seen you and it is not possible for me to come”. The Covid-19 pandemic is suddenly brought into the picture.
A good Samaritan notices all this and arranges for a Star Sports connection, LED projector and a set of speakers for the watchman, Mr. Alok. Alok is about to have his meagre dinner and the entire apartment block suddenly is abuzz with activity. The residents have suddenly become very friendly and start screaming “Alok, Alok”.
Alok watches the Dream 11, IPL 2020 on his newly gifted entertainment set and thanks the apartment block owners with profuse tears in his eyes. How very filmy! And how very crass!
Poverty is a harsh reality and we need to respect it and it should not be used to create an unnatural feeling of bonhomie and try to score cute advertising points! The advertisement is as refreshing as yesterday's morning coffee, warmed and served hot albeit with sparkling eyes!
It looks as if Star Sports is making fun of the poor watchman. Why don’t we understand the person, the poor watchman? Is it worth spending 20 to 25 thousand rupees just to promote a vulgarly dressed up commercial product? Would it not have been better to give the watchman the money collected? He might have bigger problems to solve and watching cricket might be the last thing in his priorities.
Come on Star Sports, have a life. We know that cricket is fun but it is not the only thing in life. And the internal bickering is on. Ten sports which is telecasting the England Vs Australia is already proclaiming that its series “England vs Australia is the asli (real) thing” and hinting that IPL is just pyjama cricket. Pyjama cricket was what puritans referred to the cricket series started by Kerry Packer. The world series started by Kerry Packer later led to the popularity of ODI cricket which later gave birth to the T20 cricket!