Best IPL Advertisements: When Creativity Meets Cricket

Abira Dutta Abira Dutta Apoorva Bajj Apoorva Bajj
May 18, 2023 7 min read
Best IPL Advertisements: When Creativity Meets Cricket

Overflowing with the madness of gully cricket, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has bewitched cricket lovers with power-packed thrilling matches, bold colors, and catchy theme songs. India’s most affluent and biggest sporting tournament, IPL, is a uniquely engaging event and a splendid marketing opportunity for brands.

For the past 15 years, IPL has continued to give cricket fans a buzz and is the perfect breeding ground for a heady cocktail of money, glamor, sports, and showbiz. That being said, each year, with enormous marketing budgets of rands, they present exceptionally eye-catching ad campaigns.

Here is the top pick of the best IPL advertisements made for IPL since 2008:

2008: DLF— Manoranjan Ka Baap
2009: Vodafone— ZooZoo
2009: Sony Max— The Home of IPL
2013: Pepsi— Oh Yes Abhi!
2014: Pepsi— Kanna Keep Calm
2018: Swiggy— No Order Too Small
2019: Star Sports— Game Banayega Name
2020: Facebook— More Together
2021: Disney+Hotstar— #IndiaKiVibeAlagHai
2022: CRED— Play It Different

2008: DLF— Manoranjan Ka Baap

Manoranjan Ka Baap DLF Indian Premier League SETMAX

It was a usual summer of 2008 for most Indians until the Manoranjan ka baap (father of entertainment) came. Breaking the regular features of cricket, the DLF-sponsored Indian Premier League announced its inaugural edition with an unforgettable advertisement campaign— Manoranjan ka baap.

The IPL, which started in 2008, marketed itself as a dramatic three-hour extravaganza of cricket,  as DLF came up with an advertisement depicting the story that pitched the DLF IPL Championship as the ultimate destination for entertainment on TV. The 75 seconds commercial narrated a dramatic tale of a mother and her twin sons named Mano and Ranjan, who were constantly victimized and subjected to barbs by the entire village asking, ‘Kab aayega tumhara baap?’ (When will your father arrive?). The frustrated and sad mother decides to end her life and just like 90's classic Bollywood masala film, the twins stop her in time, screaming that their father has arrived— the children dance with joy, and their mother tears with joy as the TV set with the voiceover announces ‘Aa Gaya, Manoranjan ka Baap, DLF IPL'.

IPL's first ad campaign is iconic for its creativity and melodrama. DLF's ‘Manoranjan Ka Baap’ was a complete entertainment package and is still unforgettable.

2009: Vodafone— ZooZoo

Vodafone IPL ads Zoozoo 2009 Film 1 - cricket alerts

Vodafone surely knows how to use the right amount of that cute factor to win one's heart. The mobile service company initially won hearts with a pug and wanted something unique for the second season of the IPL. Employing Ogilvy & Mather, Vodafone presented a striking commercial that made people go "Awwww". They came up with ZooZoo— small white egg-headed, toothy-smile, gibberish-speaking creatures.

A series of 30 ZooZoo advertisements were created with a mini-funny story that aired daily during the IPL Season 2. Every Man of the Match player was escorted by these ZooZoos, with the IPL 2009 jingle playing in the background. These funny characters became an instant hit and gauged a massive fan following on social media. There are over 200 pages on ZooZoos on networking sites such as Facebook, Orkut, and Twitter— over 250000 fans. The ads were even viewed multiple times by thousands of people on YouTube.

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2009: Sony Max— The Home of IPL

Sony Max - The Home of IPL

In 2009, IPL was to be hosted in South Africa— the first time a domestic event took place on a foreign ground. This marquee event called for an ad that would be global but with Indian roots and ethos.

The commercial had a beautiful concept that showed the probability of what the world would have looked like without any borders— emphasizing the strong influence of the Indian diaspora. With a theme that sports have the power to bring the world together in one place, Sony Max, the then-official broadcaster of IPL, came up with this hypothetical yet beautiful narrative that brought the world closer to the viewer— in the face of live television. The global nature of this ad became an instant hit.

2013: Pepsi— Oh Yes Abhi!

Pepsi IPL Oh Yes Abhi Priyanka Chopra Film

Rightly called the mother of all IPL campaigns, Pepsi's "Oh Yes Abhi!" has successfully captured the pulse of the Indian youth. IPL had become a prominent craze amongst youngsters, and this ad was all about the impatient Indian-youth raring to do things “right here, right now”.

The IPL ad campaign featured celebrities like Ranbir Kapoor, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, burning with passion and letting their guards down in a moment of joy. The campaign, “Oh Yes, Abhi” states that one should live for the moment as if there's no tomorrow.

2014: Pepsi— Kanna Keep Calm

IPL Star Sports - Kanna Keep calm

For the 2014 IPL, Pepsi's ad targeted a specific age group— the late teens to early 30s. Just like its commercial in the previous season of the IPL, Pepsi cast all young Indians for the ad who were stuck in the mundane situations of everyday life and wanted to escape. And the best way to do this is by watching IPL on their mobile devices. With a catchy background score and funny vocals, the ad became quite popular and secured over three lakh views on YouTube.

2018: Swiggy— No Order Too Small

Best SWIGGY India New Funny Advertisement

In 2018, the online food-ordering company presented a wholesome ad that said, "No order is too small". The commercial narrated the story of a man in his forties, ordering a piece of gulab jamun on Swiggy and popping it in his mouth before his wife can realize what’s happening.

The dialogue-less ad, championed by Swiggy, showed that they value the people, not their order value. With their "No order too small” commercial, they let users order even the smallest quantity of food possible, which increased Swiggy's new user orders by 23%.

2019: Star Sports— Game Banayega Name

VIVOIPL: Game Banayega Name

The winner of the Campaign of the Year award at the Shark Awards, Star Sports’ message with this ad ties back to the very spirit of IPL. The best ad of 2019, Star Sports’  “Game Banayenge Name”, fueled the cricketing spirit of Indians that rose from the streets. The ad narrated a single story seen through two sides— one gully cricket and IPL—with a clever use of the split screen. The two sides were fighting for space on the screen, and finally, the earthy background score took over with the jingle singing— whatever the ground was, the game would be the same. The small elements that contributed to the ad made it a hit— reflecting the spirit of young India and countless cricketers who rose from the streets to play in the biggest-ever IPL.

2020: Facebook— More Together

Facebook: Jersey

With the dawn of the Corona pandemic, 2020 was a rough year for everyone, and more than ever, we needed to see and hear inspirational stories of our communities working together.

For IPL 2020, Facebook infused this feeling in the cricket-theme rendition of their More Together campaign. With four ads knitted together, Facebook told inspirational stories of people coming together on the platform to make a difference. The ad film follows IPL fans ordering jerseys from their favorite teams to enjoy IPL from their homes, which brought profit to a small business. During the festive season of the IPL, Facebook wanted to highlight how our collective actions can create beautiful outcomes.

2021: Disney+Hotstar— #IndiaKiVibeAlagHai

India Ki Vibe Alag Hai | Vivo IPL 2021

Disney+Hotstar’s music-themed IPL campaign is rightfully lauded as one of the best ad campaigns with a multilingual anthem. Created by one of India’s hottest musicians, Nucleya, the anthem had cricket fans feeling many emotions. Featuring eight Indian languages and sung by eight rappers across India, the anthem perfectly depicted the inter-city rivalry on the field. The fun and multilingual piece bought together fans from across the country to dance to its tune, heralding unity.

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2022: CRED— Play It Different

Play it different | ft. Karisma Kapoor | CRED

The Indian fintech company, CRED, founded in 2018, showed a unique and memorable ad for the 2022 IPL. Signing up Karishma Kapoor, the innovative ad with the slogan “Play It Different,” was a recreation of a Nirma ad from the 90s. CRED used this ad to introduce its bounty for the 2022 IPL. This IPL ad campaign came with a contest that is open to CRED members and to partner with friends, family, or teammates to win the big prize.

2023: Dream11— #SabKhelenge

Dream11: Duplicate in movies, also for 150kph deliveries 😉 #sabkhelenge

The fantasy gaming platform, Dream11 won hearts with their 3 Idiots campaign titled #SabKhelenge. The multi-starred ad has infused India’s two biggest obsessions – Bollywood and cricket. Following the release of the initial ad, the fantasy gaming platform released a series of ads where the 3 Idiots actors and cricketers engage in hilarious banter.


What are the best IPL advertisements made for IPL since 2008?

Here are the top pick of the best IPL advertisements made for IPL since 2008 -

  • 2008: DLF— Manoranjan Ka Baap
  • 2009: Vodafone— ZooZoo
  • 2009: Sony Max— The Home of IPL
  • 2013: Pepsi— Oh Yes Abhi!
  • 2014: Pepsi— Kanna Keep Calm
  • 2018: Swiggy— No Order Too Small
  • 2019: Star Sports— Game Banayega Name
  • 2020: Facebook— More Together
  • 2021: Disney+Hotstar— #IndiaKiVibeAlagHai
  • 2022: CRED— Play It Different
  • 2023: Dream11— #SabKhelenge
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