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5 Funny World Cup Commercials That Will Set The Tone For ICC Cricket World Cup 2023

The 13th ICC Cricket World Cup kickstarted yesterday with the finalists of the 2019 edition, England and New Zealand, locking horns in the first game. And honestly, it was fun to see the Kiwis smash the Pommies yesterday after they were robbed of a well-deserved victory in the 2019 final based on the nonsensical rule of higher boundaries. But what’s even funnier are some of the World Cup campaigns that we have seen over the years. So, for this week’s #FunnyFridays segment, we are going to treat you to some hilarious World Cup commercials from the past.

So, let’s get started.

1. ESPN: Apple Singh (1999)

Imagine standing next to somebody like Sir Geoffrey Boycott, one of the greatest names in Cricket, and not only failing to recognize him but also berating him for “lying”. Well, that is possible, at least in this 1999 World Cup commercial.

The 1999 Cricket World Cup had an ad campaign where a countryside Indian guy called Apple Singh goes to England to watch the World Cup. But contrary to everyone’s expectations, the village lad has a few memorable encounters. What’s more, he even gets invited to watch the World Cup games by Sir Geoffrey Boycott himself.

2. Pepsi: Indian Team & Lion (2003)

The 2003 Cricket World Cup was held in Africa and Pepsi decided to make the most of the rich African wildlife for its 2003 ad campaign.

The ad showcases the Indian team practicing for their upcoming games in a forest. When they go back to their camp, they find a lion sleeping right beside their crate of Pepsi. Overwhelmed by thirst, the skipper Sourav Ganguly and his deputy Rahul Dravid decide to surreptitiously bring the Pepsi crate without waking up the lion. And they seem to be doing a fine job when a six hit by Harbhajan lands straight on the sleeping lion. The team somehow manages to run for their lives but not before sending a jubilant Harbhajan the lion’s way to fetch the ball.

3. Hutch: Chalo Cricket Manayen (2006)

Imagine being all upbeat about going to watch the World Cup without even knowing about one of the most iconic names in the sport. That’s exactly why this 50-second Hutch spot featuring Rahul Dravid is so unintentionally funny.

The ad features a young guy, presumably Indian, flying alongside Rahul Dravid without even realizing who’s sitting next to him. And that would have been perfectly fine if he wasn’t going to the West Indies to watch the World Cup. But that’s what happens when you go to watch the World Cup solely because Hutch has given you free tickets for the same- every Tom, Dick, and Harry is going to be there!

4. Star Sports: Cricket Ka Crown Hum Le Jayenge (2019)

Imagine teaching all your friends a game and watching them excel at it even better than you. That had been the story of England as far as Cricket was concerned until the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Despite introducing Cricket to the world, the English team had failed to win an ODI World Cup until 2019, losing thrice in the finals.

So, the sarcasm of English and South African representatives failing to get their hands on coffee cups at breakfast in this 45-second Star Sports commercial wasn’t lost on viewers. The ad is funny and in a way lampoons two of the best sides in international cricket, primarily because of their failure to lift the World Cup. Thankfully, England managed to win at least the 2019 World Cup, albeit because of a flawed rule!

5. Star Sports: Mauka Mauka (2015)

And here’s my favorite one from this list and one of cricket’s most memorable ad campaigns. This 30-second commercial aired by Star Sports in 2015 cashed in on the traditional India-Pakistan rivalry and went on to become the most popular cricket ad campaign.

The ad showcases a Pakistani fan, who’s seen his team being beaten continuously by Indians right from their first encounter in 1992. Through the years, while the man’s personality and appearance undergo significant changes, two things remain constant- Pakistan’s defeats against India in World Cups and his desire to finally see his team win.

The ad campaign “Mauka Mauka” finally summed up the emotions of every Pakistani fan. Will their wish of seeing their team one-up India at the World Cup finally come true this year? Let’s wait and watch!

Wrapping Up

And that was a wrap of another #FunnyFriday segment. Cricket has changed drastically over the years and so have ad campaigns around World Cups. But if there’s one thing that remains consistent is the love that millions of fans of this beautiful game have for it. And that will hopefully help brands dish out more amazing campaigns year after year.

We’ll be back with more awesome videos for you. Until then, stay tuned!


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