A NEW TV ADVERT promoting the Indian Super League shows a number of celebrity co-owners of ISL franchises exchange some witty lines with each other while showing off the skills of their players.
The one-minute ad, features six celebrities who own stakes in ISL teams, including Bollywood stars Hritik Roshan (Pune City), Ranbir Kapoor (Mumbai City), John Abraham (NorthEast United) and Abhishek Bachchan (Chenniyin FC). Along with them are present and former Indian cricket team captains Virat Kohli (Delhi Dynamos) and Sourav Ganguly (Atletico de Kolkata).
The video shows the celebrities sharing video messages with each other in a private group chat, along with clips of their players displaying their expertise in the sport. The exchange begins when Abhishek Bachchan warns others that they should prepare for defeat. The other owners come back with clever replies, until Sourav Ganguly delivers a decisive punchline.
Adding to the ambiance of the slickly edited video is Virat Kohli frolicking on a dark, fluroscent miniature football pitch and Sourav Ganguly chilling in his living room with the ISL trophy casually lying next to him.
The swagger and the banter-filled bromance of the advert caters to the image of ISL being a tournament with quick-fire entertainment, where the mostly imagined, off-the-pitch "clash" of celebrity owners is just as important as the game of football on the pitch, if not more. And with about two weeks left before the ISL kicks off, there is definitely room for at least one more advert that takes forward the narrative of this video to heighten the build-up to the gala competition to fever pitch. After all, the biggest celebrity owner associated with the ISL, Sachin Tendulkar, was conspicuously absent from this video.