Dil bara kar, aankhein bund kar aur ghuma dey… that’s how matches are won and so are the hearts. What a treat to see a not-so-typical commercial. A story well told that definitely strikes a chord amongst the cricket fans while beautifully capturing the essence of being Afridi. Though a humdrum beginning, where we see Afridi in a restaurant, the commercial takes an interesting twist when instead of saving the day in the most mundane manner, Afridi helps the kids do it, the Afridi way.
With PSL in full swing, cricket is surely the game the entire nation is breathing, eating and sleeping at the moment. Every street and road is a cricket field with Afridis, Wahabs, Sarfarazs all around us, and howzat and shahbashey shahbashey echoing in the air. Thus a very smart move to select a situation to which the viewers can easily relate to. Kids playing cricket in a ground; Simple yet powerful. And the insight of all kids dreaming of being Afridi when in the ground is like a Yorker aiming the middle stump.
The story revolves around Afridi who is relishing his leisure time with his friends, when the phone rings. On the other side is a kid seeking his expert advice as the last ball of the game is about to be bowled. The drama builds as Afridi with the same passion as on the field tells them what to do, tells them what makes Afridi, Afridi. The kid listens to his instructions and passes them on to the kid who is at the crease facing the last ball. We see a junior Afridi as he hits the last ball for a sixer. This is where it is revealed that the commercial is about Peshawar Zalmi, a PSL team sponsored by General Petroleum.
Depicting the true spirit of cricket, the commercial is a wonderfully woven story of passion, determination, quitting at no time and fighting till the end. A powerful idea with a marvelous execution and brilliant performances, it doesn’t disappoint you at all. The kids were simply amazing not letting the stardom of Afridi over shadow their acts. And Afridi with all his grace and aura did make his presence felt. There are worthy messages from dreaming big to achieving them to believing in yourself to be someone whom people can look up to. The stunning visuals a layman can also identify with, emotional script, complimented with soft yet enthusiastic music in the background, warm lighting and actual location, all were enough to make this commercial stand out in the pool where we could only see people/celebrities dancing and singing for their teams. With minimal product presence and that too in a very subtle way, all credit goes to the client on approving such an idea where the spirit of the game is highlighted rather than exhibiting the product over the top and in your face.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sings ‘Main Zalmi Hoon Peshawar Ka’
All in all, the commercial is a perfect example of relevant insight turning into a wonderful big idea which is executed splendidly keeping the viewers hooked to the screens without losing interest no matter how many times they watch Afridi and the kids making it happen.
Should Shahid Afridi sing ‘Acha Chalta hon’ for real this time?
Guest Author: Sumaira Mirza