The future of Mauka Mauka: Will the campaign survive the India-Pak match loss?

Ahead of the historic match, the Mauka Mauka campaign dominated conversations on social media, we take a look at the trends.

Jagruti Verma
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Mauka Mauka campaign

Ahead of the historic match, the Mauka Mauka campaign dominated branded and organic conversations on social media, we take a look at the trends and understand how the recent development impacts the stance of the campaign.

First introduced before the 2015 ICC World Cup, Mauka Mauka is an iconic cricket campaign. At its core lie a humorous take on the rivalry as old as time — India v/s Pakistan. Several ads have been released under the campaign over the years, supported by moment marketing and memes. Mauka Mauka's narrative is based on the fact that over the last several years, India has won every match against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup. It depicts a fan's longing to burst crackers to celebrate the win of the team he supports.

Alas, the man’s wish came true this year, with Pakistan winning a match against India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. But what would this mean for the long-running Mauka Mauka campaign? Would the said campaign cease to exist or, would it be transformed into something bigger, better, and different?

From A Campaign To A Moment...

From memes to brand posts — a large chunk of the conversations online on the day of the match this year was dominated by the Mauka Mauka campaign. As a lead-up to the match, several brands shared creatives that included a word-play on 'mauka'. The campaign thus became a small moment in itself.

This isn't the first time this has happened — Mauka Mauka has had an effect where a brand name or a campaign jingle/copy becomes synonymous with the product or the category itself — similar to the likes of 'Meri Maggi' and 'Isko Laga Dala Toh Life Jinga Lala'.

The Mauka Mauka campaign song even became an anthem to celebrate the win in Pakistan.

A part of the chatter also concentrated on the job of the Mauka Mauka guy. Would he retain his employment status? People wondered.

The aspect of how the Mauka Mauka campaign leverages the very real and consequential conflict between the two nations was also discussed publically, adding a heavier take to mostly light and fun conversations around the topic.

The Future Of Mauka Mauka

Citing his work on Nike for years, Navonil Chatterjee, Joint President & CSO at Rediffusion Brand Solutions Pvt Ltd, explains: "There is a cardinal principle in sports branding where you never commit to victory in your communication. You talk about the spirit, the effort, the grit but not about the outcome. Because in every match, the probability of victory is 50%. That probability has caught up with the Mauka campaign finally."

He adds, "They say cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. Mauka Mauka, as a campaign, can ride on some glorious twists and turns in the days and years ahead because its basic premise is simple and archetypal to sports - which is fan rivalry!"

Given the success of Mauka Mauka over the years and the trend of keeping popular campaigns alive or bringing them back after a couple of years, one can definitely expect something in the works at Star Sports. They have sustained it for so long — creating several, diverse storylines over the years. It is, after all, too widely-known a campaign to be killed over a match result — even if it was the one thing keeping it alive.

India's winning streak gave momentum to the campaign over the years, feels advertising veteran Santosh Padhi. The narrative could stay on, for there was enough meat for it to be relatable, facilitating moments that fans could relive over and over. However, all good things come to an end — the mould so far had to be broken for a new beginning to take root.

Mauka Mauka and its strong association with India-Pakistan cricket relations are bound to stay with us for long. Expressing interest in how Star Sports will shape the narrative now, Padhi opines, "The creative team has got a 'mauka' to do something more pathbreaking."

We hope they will use it well.

(With inputs from Saloni Surti)

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