October 24, 2021

Talking about the greatest rivalries in cricket, the India-Pakistan rivalry has been the most entertaining and nail-biting one and there are no two ways about it. Amongst the others, only The Ashes comes close to the great Asian battle, but the craze for the latter is much more known and evident.

The India-Pakistan rivalry, especially in the ICC tournaments, has been a great hunting ground for brands to up their marketing game. No matter what kind of form the two nations are in before an encounter, the game always lives up to its hype across all formats.

As far as the most famous India-Pakistan-centric campaign is concerned, it is undoubtedly the Father’s Day Mauka Mauka ad that Star Sports aired during the 2015 ICC World Cup. The ad depicted a Pakistani boy (portrayed by Vishal Malhotra) waiting to burst crackers to celebrate his nation’s victory over India, but never getting a chance to do so.



Later, Star went on to make a series of ads around the Mauka Mauka theme, and Bangladesh was brought into the scene alongside Pakistan. The campaign started gaining more momentum whenever Star launched a new ad, and now people eagerly wait for the next part to pop up on their screens.


Also Read – ‘Mauka Mauka’ ad returns ahead of the Men’s T20 World Cup


Eventually, Pakistan also came back with an advertisement campaign of its own to counter the Mauka Mauka ads courtesy of a mobile TV app, Jazz TV, which later became famous as the “No Issue, Le Lo Tissue” ad campaign. The first ad aired after Pakistan’s victory over India in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Final.

Of these ads, one was based around a sentimental theme and featured a lookalike of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian airman who ended up in Pakistan’s custody after an airstrike launched in retaliation for the attack on an Indian security forces convoy in Pulwama.



The officer, best known for his lush moustache, could be seen saying to his interrogators in a video released after his capture, “I’m sorry, I’m not supposed to tell you that.” The ad depicted the airman’s lookalike donning India’s blue colors, using the same line when asked to throw light on the Indian team’s match strategy that Wing Commander Varthaman stuck to in real life. In the ad, he also was seen with a cup of tea offered by the rivals, just like in real life. When granted leave, he would be ordered by the Pakistanis to “leave the cup behind; it’s ours.”


There have been many opinions about these ads being released as there are chances of hurting some sentiments. Narayan Devanathan, group executive and strategy officer — South Asia, Dentsu Branded Agencies, is of the opinion that this historic rivalry and everything related to it (both on and off the cricket field) should be taken as nothing more than banter.

He once said, “If, in the first instance, the Star Sports ad was meant for Indians — and if Pakistani fans took offence, they need to remember it was never meant for them in the first place. And if it was intended to stoke Pakistani fans, then I’d say, mission accomplished. And if Indian fans take offence at it, they either need to remember it wasn’t meant for them or acknowledge that Jazz TV succeeded in what it set out to do: get under the skin of Indian fans.

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