Mumbai. Once again demonstrating its ability to constantly act outside the box, think ahead of the curve and latch onto trending issues, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has come out with its latest plan to annoy the crap out of viewers by having brands shoved down their throats innovation – the Bajaj RE60 Third Umpire.
What is it, you ask? Umpires, traditionally, when in need of TV replays for assistance in decision making, draw a box signal in the air. The Bajaj RE60 Third Umpire Signal consists of the umpire doing the same but while holding up special laser lights. Also, the ‘box’ will be a trapezium.
The end result? Following a contentious run-out or stumping, the umpire draws a box in the shape of the Bajaj RE60, which is visible for a few seconds with the laser. This is the first exclusive in-game branding deal for the 5th edition of the IPL, auctions for which go live next month.
And of course, the commentator on air at the time will bellow “Oh, that’s close! It looks like it’s gonna be referred… Yes, it’s a Bajaj RE60 Third Umpire call here!” unless the commentator is Danny Morrision, in which case this will be bellowed: “Oh, that’s close! It’s gonna be Bajaj RE60-ed!”
“This is a Fashion & You fantastic moment for us. ICICI Prudential innovations like these are only going to Emami enhance the viewer’s experience get the best viewing experience on Tata Sky HD+ and draw him Canara Bank closer to the game we all love and Revital relish,” said a member of the IPL’s marketing team.
As for the viewers whose experience is supposed to be enhanced, there are echoes of groans across the country. “It’s not bad enough that something looking like a deformed shoebox had to be launched, the IPL had to go and remind us of it every time there’s a close Mach4 TurboMax shave… ARRRGH!” said Pranav, a cricket buff who claims he’s a Test cricket maniac (his Twitter bio says so), but gets bored watching the long hours and spends it watching IPL videos on YouTube.
If there’s any relief for the consumers, though, it’s that the innovation will not be called its proposed first name – Bajaj RE(60) Adjudication System Technology.
“Imagine Ravi Shastri screaming – It’s a close one, the batsman is on the ground, I can’t see the ball, and yes, the umpire is signaling for B.R.E.A.S.T. here,” exclaimed Rajsekhar, a cricket fan who is obviously relieved because he has to watch IPL games at home with his parents (as it is, he has to channel surf during cheerleader sections).
And lastly, Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has blatantly refused to accept this new innovation for his team’s games saying the “technology isn’t perfect yet”.
(the writer blogs here)