At the queue up for the security check at the Chennai Airport last week, I see some bright yellow trays near the X-ray machines. The trays says “Whistle Podu Offer” & the token says “Miss You”. And as I wait for the boarding to start, I recall the previous evening. The Tapas Bar (previously Zara) on Cathedral Road was, surprisingly, only almost full, not overflowing with people and those IPL emotions. Obviously the home team’s absence was visible as RCB & MI fought it out on the TV screen with only very few faces staring at it. There is no doubt that after the home teams, all the IPL cities, loved CSK brand. (Dare I say, with the exception of Bangalore city?)
I understand this ‘Whistle Podu campaign’ was a beautiful accident. While every competing brand was doing the larger than life winner takes all dream campaign, they worked on the simple insight that like one doesn’t need to tell cricket fans in India to root for India, there is no point in asking Tamil Nadu/Chennai to support CSK brand. But it’s surely more engaging when they discover how to cheer & celebrate together. And thus “Whistle Podu” arrived almost unannounced. CSK team members gave this one simple whistle podu action during the shoot, fans after fans reciprocated , engaged and the rest is history well known to all the followers of this glorious sports carnival. Various renditions of the video were fan sourced and the brand was on an all time emotional high. The TV channels played the video. Overnight, this became a ‘sought after content’ for them.
It was no longer just advertising. It never was.
Check out the original video below: