World Cup ad
A screengrab from the World Cup adYouTube/Star Sports

Let's be fair, Star Sports hasn't always been good at making advertisements to promote its sports content. It may be due to the conviction that Indians can't appreciate sports on its own and need it to appear more melodramatic.

Take for instance their ad to promote the Premier Badminton League. It showed India's top shuttlers posing with an aggressive demeanour and had the tagline, 'Baddies are back.' It's as if badminton with its exciting speed and awe-inspiring skills isn't enough to attract the audience, therefore it needs imaginary gruesomeness.

Another commercial that the channel made before India's tour of Bangladesh in 2015, where a group of kids patronisingly remark on seeing a younger boy batting well, 'bachche ab bachche nahin rahe,' referring to Bangladesh cricket team's progress, was downright insulting to the host nation. Their win in the 3-match ODI series must have seemed poetic justice to their fans.

2019 World Cup advertisement

But the advertisement to promote the upcoming ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup seems to have been crafted really well. The start makes you think it is another one of those silly commercials which presents England and its people according to semi-developed Indian stereotypes visible in movies like Namastey London and Housefull.

It shows the Queen at a social event where one of her aides raises a toast to hope of England's success in the World Cup. Then, an Indian waiter gives the tray of champagne to the aide and rips off his formal uniform to reveal the shirt of Indian cricket team's blue jersey. Then he starts singing a song which is actually quite hummable as opposed to the grating theme song 'De ghuma ke' from the 2011 edition.

Till now, it seems like the ad is only talking about India's campaign. But then it takes a rather unique turn when a guest stops him and then takes off the upper half of his formal suit to reveal the shirt of the Australian team and engages in a dance-off with the Indian. Soon, the chef emerges from the kitchen and rips off his coat to joins in except that he is wearing South African jersey's shirt. Then appears a bulky bodyguard who handcuffs one of the men much to the Queen's approval. But after that, he rips off the upper part of his suit to show the West Indian shirt.

This leads to all hell breaking loose as supporters of all teams join in and guess what, the Pakistani among them is the same guy who featured in the famous 'Mauka Mauka' ad. This mayhem continues until the Queen nods meaningfully to her aide. He understands the instructions and, handing over the tray, rips off the top of his own suit to show England's jersey. The mad dance-off continues.

So, the ad is not unnecessarily one-sided and biased. It has music which, like what was there in the 'Mauka Mauka' ads, entertaining and not too loud. But the ad does another thing, though it might have been inadvertent. It shows the multicultural society that has emerged in England, at least in the urban centres. The Star Sports creative team have done a decent job of capturing the excitement that one can expect during the event. Lastly, this commercial isn't going to offend anyone.