Cricketers on the ad pitch: When Ganguly tried to shake a leg, Dravid's 'Jammy' act
From role models to screen models, here are some iconic campaigns of cricketers.
A star’s advertising repertoire is incomplete without a cola endorsement. That was pretty much the rule, when the latest cola commercial would become a talking point and cement the status of those featured. The coming together of two icons, Sachin Tendulkar and Amitabh Bachchan, was therefore a coup of sorts, managed adeptly by the folks at PepsiCo India. Bright, vibrant and celebratory was the spirit of the commercial, expertly delivered by the two ‘models’.
Two heartthrobs in a frame
Cricket and Bollywood make a heady cocktail. The erstwhile motorcycle brand Hero Honda brought together Sourav Ganguly and Hrithik Roshan in this iconic commercial. While Roshan took a turn at the bat, the former captain shook a leg, and the nation broke out into a collective aww, indulgent of their favourite dada. His awkward dance moves were endearing in all their glory.
A blast of freshness
Despite the pronounced cricket rivalry between India and Pakistan in the 1980s, the now Prime Minister of Pakistan, then cricketer, Imran Khan enjoyed unprecedented popularity in India. That, combined with his close friendship with Parmeshwar Godrej, wife of businessman Adi Godrej, ensured that Khan got his chance on celluloid for soap brand Cinthol (owned by Godrej Industries). The advertisement showed a montage of Khan’s bowling movements, attributing his freshness through it all to the soapy aid.
Caught in a jam
Rahul Dravid may have starred in many commercials during his playing days, as well as post. But the one that holds a special place in his heart is the famous Kissan Jams one, with the catchy ‘jam, jam, jammy’ jingle. The reason: Dravid’s father worked for the company for over 16 years. This even earned him the nickname Jammy. For most fans, a mention of Dravid evokes the image of a dignified, classy presence. In this advertisement though, the audience got to see a playful side to the cricketer, as he went through multiple get ups: dressed as a girl, a monk and finally, a vampire.
During the 1987 Cricket World Cup, also referred to as the Reliance Cup, due to the sponsor connection, suiting brand Vimal ran an iconic commercial featuring Viv Richards. While the advertisement did feature a fully suited, dapper Richards to send out the brand message, it also tapped into his Caribbean spirit. The video has images of Richards sunbathing on an inflatable float in the pool as well as breaking out into moves. The entire commercial has an upbeat jingle through the runtime, culminating with the West Indian cricketer delivering the catchphrase: Only, Vimal.