‘When do they begin?’ I asked.


‘The cricket matches.’

‘They’re always on,’ Specky said with a smile, and then added, ‘But if you mean the IPL 2015, then KKR won their first match yesterday. Mumbai Indians are obviously inconsolable in their defeat.’

I just stared at her. I mean there was a time when I was begging her to sit for some time and watch whichever one-day match was going on and now she is the one informing me that the craziest, zaniest, and the most cheerful series has begun. I remembered then that even my father had called up a couple of days back and was asking if I knew which channel is for cricket.

‘It has to be some sports channel, papa ji,’ I had answered, and then went back to that article that I was writing on the latest antics happening in the eccentric political world of India.

India is cricket crazy… and plain crazy too because we give a Bharat Ratna to Tendulkar after having literally beaten the life out of him in the years he wasn’t performing as well as we wanted him to. We stand on a kerbside and dissect political parties and their agendas as well as get into a rage if we are losing a cricket match.

Now that IPL 2015 is ON, I know the country is going to go berserk. There will be campaigns, contests, and people will be glued to twitter and Facebook waiting to win a VIP ticket to a stadium… or to get a signed bat or ball as a giveaway. Yes, this is indeed the season when even the corporates get active. The agencies are briefed to design the best and the most unique campaign with contests meandering between the sales pitch.

I have closely watched a lot of campaigns earlier and have even participated in some… but the one that Aircel has planned for this year’s IPL beats them all. Imagine getting “a chance to win two grand prizes – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of meeting the CSK stars along with three friends for a group selfie and a golden chance to win ‘Toss with the Captain’. Fans can log on to www.aircel1plus3.com, a comprehensive and ultimate online battleground for all CSK supporters, where they will be guided through two contests- Super Fan and Super Friends,” said the promo mailer and I decided to take a closer look. There is this rather cute microsite that Aircel has created for the 1Plus3 campaign and I registered to enter through my Facebook account. Well, you can register even through your twitter account but when I tried, I couldn’t… maybe the microsite did not fancy getting friendly with me on twitter! But jokes apart, this was the easier part. Not that the rest is difficult… in fact, it becomes more interesting after this as one gets to choose between two campaigns that are running simultaneously.

The first is the Super Friends Contest where all you need to do is “upload crazy pictures, videos or selfies on the microsite and urge their friends to give them maximum votes.” The winners get a chance to meet CSK stars with three friends, interact with the players and even click groupies with them! ‘Hmmm…’ I murmured, ‘seems exciting.’ So I immediately uploaded a groupie that I had clicked when I had gone to Chennai a couple of years back for an audition with CSK to be their blogger. Obviously, there will be leader-boards to tell you where you stand in the voting tally so you may need to activate all your friends on the social media platforms to come and vote for your groupie or selfie.

The other is the Super Fan Contest and I found the concept rather brilliant and innovative. This one asks you to create a unique ‘Aircel1plus3’ hashtag (for instance, I created #AircelPASSEYPlus3) and try and popularize it among your friends and followers on social media to stand a chance to win ‘Toss with the Captain’. You can even create a poster with your own tagline to enthuse and induce people to come and use your hashtag on twitter. Well, social media influencers will surely have an edge here… but hey! I loved creating that poster and I share it here for you all to see:

The #Aircel1Plus3 Poster that I created on the #Aircel microsite

The #Aircel1Plus3 Poster that I created on the #Aircel microsite

The campaign doesn’t end here with its rainfall of prizes… Aircel also offers customers an exciting chance to win 800 match tickets at various locations in India and CSK merchandize through various online (Twitter and Facebook contests) and offline promotions. So I guess all you need to do is remain alert to any Aircel announcement as any of them just might talk of something that brings luck your way.

So anyway, we were on cricket and the sort of madness that we are now already surrounded with as IPL 2015 has officially begun. This madness is only going to increase and, I hope, it ushers in a bit of luck towards me as well.




Arvind Passey
09 April 2015