Star Sports’ Ab Inka Balla Bolega, but the team behind it kuch bolega?

This video, titled ‘Ab Inka Balla Bolega’, to promote ICC women WT20 tournament is scripted so well and produced beautifully. The song in the background, the choice of child stars, the emotions, the expressions, the choice of Kashmir as the backdrop for the story to unfold – everything has been done brilliantly!

My first thought – a film by Star Group… so, must be Ogilvy, since they usually produce most of their promo films.

But as I tried to find out who did this video, I was mighty surprised to see this film being credited generally to “In-house team at Star Spots”. Whoa, that is a big deal – for an internal team to produce this good a film.

The news about this video was shared with advertising and marketing media in the form of a press release. Take a look at the coverage in IndianTelevision, The Economic Times Brand Equity, Exchange4Media, Campaign India, BestMediInfo, Afaqs and AdGully. The sentence,

“The TVC, shot in Kashmir, highlights the emotions that girls across the world go through when it comes to stereotypes attached to playing sports. From being picked in the local Sunday team or getting the opportunity to play, girls are often left out, despite possessing the skills to compete.”

… is reproduced verbatim, in many of the articles.

All this is standard, industry practice. Most agencies do send press releases for the new films that do on behalf of brands and many of them also include quotes by the brand managers (the agency’s effort to make the brand managers famous and retain the retainer). Agencies also send detailed credits for the films/videos they produce, including the production agency details. Considering no media has details of the team behind the film, I’m assuming that was not part of the press release.

In this case, the brand and the agency are the same. So, I’d have imagined that Star would be doubly keen to proudly share the names of their own internal/in-house people who produced this wonderful video. When there’s an outside agency involved, at the very least, a client may think, ‘why share the focus with the agency individuals when the media should be focusing on the film and us, the client?’ (that is, when the client sends the press release). But here, even that possibility is out because the agency is also the client!

But, nope! The full credits for this video are not available anywhere… yet.

What’s even more bizarre is that when someone asks a pointed question (on LinkedIn) about who the film’s song’s lyricist is, to a person from Star who shared it proudly, the response was a terse, “internal creative team”!

I don’t blame this individual, but is there a diktat inside Star that they cannot reveal the names of people behind this video?

If so, wouldn’t those talented folks move to an agency where their work is more publicly acknowledged and celebrated? Why this awkward secrecy for something so normal in the advertising industry?

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