8 memorable Cricket World Cup ads and songs

Virat Kohli in the Bleed Blue campaign (Credits – BCCI)Cricket matches are less of shootout battles and more of wars fraught with innumerable strategies and gambits. We, as fans, are inundated with scores of memorable knocks and precise deliveries during the course of a World Cup. Now, while we may not remember every one of the great performances we witnessed during a World Cup, some ads and songs transcend time and are eternally evergreen.Some of us have trouble remembering the Periodic Table, but we can recite the lyrics of Come on India dikha do. Music resonates with us on a deep level and played rightly, it amplifies the content it supports. Along with some memorable songs, there have also been a number of ad campaigns which have blown us away with their freshness.Here are some memorable songs and advertisements from the World Cups gone by which have stood the test of time and are still as memorable and fresh as they once were:


#1 Pepsi - Nothing official about it

Ambush marketing is often subtle, designed to encroach upon the original right holders without explicitly tooting your horn. Sometimes they aim to hide the fact that they are not the official sponsors and they try to have their say through indirect means.

There was nothing subtle about the Nothing Official About It ads which actually featured players shaking their heads at the official drink. Heavily laced with irony, these ads proclaimed in your face, that while Pepsi is not the official drink of the Cricket World Cup, a lot of cricket traditions deemed as official have nothing official about them either.

This was a landmark stone cast in the battle between Pepsi and Coca Cola and is one of the most famous cases of ambush marketing in sports in India.


#2 Adidas - Bring it on

This was one gritty advert. Sachin Tendulkar is not one of our louder stars. He'd come in, calmly put up runs on the scoreboard and gracefully walk out. I've written about how the media's relentless witch hunt was partly to blame for his retirement.

Usually, Tendulkar answered his critics on the field. Here, he does so in an ad as well. This ad begins with critics' voices proclaiming negatives such as "it's a young man's game" and "he needs to reinvent himself".


Using those words as fuel to his fire, Sachin is shown training in a montage for the ages. To the tune of heavy hitting music, the Mumbaikar lifts weights which are big enough for him to hide behind, runs track with parachutes for resistance and boxes with ferocity and intensity which speaks to the undercurrent of brimming and simmering rage with which he is determined to prove his critics wrong and play a part for his country.

#3 Come on India Dikha Do


This was less of a happy-go-lucky jingle and more of a battle ballad. This video starts with the Indian spectators leaving their seats in a distraught manner until one man jumps on the fence and roars "Come on India!"

Then, Shankar Mahadevan walks down the stairs and rallies the crowd behind him while belting out a tune which would resonate for years to come. Had mobile cameras and selfies been a thing back in 1999, Facebook would have seen scores of pictures of youth leaping on fences and yelling Come on India.

Here’s something to replay over and over again, showing some legends of Indian cricket in their youth. This was one catchy tune which lent a booming bass to the 'Come on India!' cheer.

#4 Nike - Bleed Blue

This ad captures the essence of the unifying power of cricket. It did a beautiful job of drawing a parallel showing an intersection in the lives of our Indian team players and the common youth. Every cricketer in the ad, the idols of the cricket team along with the rest of the country's youth wakes up at the crack of dawn, and uses a myriad of transports to reach their training grounds.


Some may hitch a ride on top of a bus, some may have their own car, but everyone travels to their hallowed training grounds. It ends with a shot of all those players charging into their respective fields for a match. Some may be playing at a sold out stadium, some may be plowing through a muddy field, but everyone plays.

This showed cricket as a unifying factor which binds together all those who pursue it. Regardless of their level of fame or fortune, the sport makes its disciples pursue journeys which are not dissimilar.

#5 Appy Fizz - A cool drink to hang out with

Appy Fizz, a cool drink to hang out with – so went the slogan. It may as well have been 'a cool drink to hang yourself with' or 'happy to stalk you in your living room this World Cup'.

No nerd had ever tried to be cool as much as the personification of Appy Fizz did in this ad. There are a bunch of people sleeping and the cool drink decides that the cool thing to do would be to yell like a banshee and wake everyone up.


I've a couple of questions – why was this concept of an arrogant rooster going cock-a-doodle-do approved, and why was it aired so frequently? I remember franticly scrambling for the remote after the fifth delivery of an over just so I could mute the TV just as it cut to the ads.

As they say, no publicity is bad publicity. These ads did strike a chord, albeit a shrill one.

#6 Nike - Just Do It

Nike’s first major commercial on cricket in India was a knockout. Two of India's identifying factors are shown here – cricket and traffic jams. This ad makes the two combine in a beautiful way.

Why not turn the roof of a bus into a cricket pitch? It's stationary anyway. Young cricketers in a bus are stuck in traffic and they decide to head to the roof to kill time. Initially, they are viewed with disdain by the general public for causing damage to property, but then the cricket spirit kicks in and even an elephant decides to chime in the action.

That’s not something we are likely to see in any other country.


#7 Pepsi - Change the game

These series of ads brilliantly traced the fictitious origin stories of some less than traditional, sometimes fictitious cricket moves. Pallu Scoop is probably not mentioned anywhere in the hallowed annals of cricket lore. These ads were tongue-in-cheek and still managed to show that a creative player can find inspiration to tinker with his technique in the most unlikeliest of places.

The Change the Game tagline was also used for Pepsi T20 football. It managed to get fans of both sports to intersect and find common ground. An appearance by Ranbir Kapoor upped the cool quotient as well.


#8 Pepsi - Iski to Gayi

Some competitors look for their competition to be at their absolute best in order to feel that they deserved their victory. There is no satisfaction in defeating an opponent when they are down and out.

Shane Warne and Carl Hooper thought otherwise, when they looked to kidnap Sachin Tendulkar and send him on his merry way to Honolulu. As they find out to their cost, it is not easy to trick the Master Blaster. Tendulkar never looks to remove his competition but since they initiated the maneuver, he completes it by tricking them.

‘Aila’ and ‘Iski to gayi were heard in many corners of the country after this tongue-in-cheek ad aired.

Edited by
Staff Editor
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