It all began with the a TV ad by host broadcasters Star Sports that was meant to kick-off India’s campaign at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan, who have never defeated India in the tournament’s history. But what started as one-off add, became a full-blown campaign with Star Sports releasing a different ad before every India match, complete with the signature qawaalli tune of ‘mauka mauka.’ Most of these ads garnered thousands of hits and popularity all over the internet, especially in the social media discourse. But not all the Mauka ads have been as funny as the first. So here’s presenting a definitive ranking of all the Mauka ads released by Star Sports so far. (23rd March)
1. India vs Pakistan
They say the first is always the best for a reason. This ad shows a grumpy Pakistan fan get old waiting over the two decades for Pakistan to beat India in a World Cup match so he can burst his aging box of crackers. A novel way to depict a running joke in India-Pakistan rivalry, this TVC caught the fancy of entire India.
2. India vs South Africa
The second ad followed the same theme as the first, but in reverse. India had never beaten South Africa in a World Cup match and a couple of South African fans point out the same, giving Indian fans a box of crackers in jest. A continuation as good as the first, the turning of tables was a great way to get the attention of fans.
3. India vs Ireland
This ad created quite a stir thanks to a teaser released showing the Pakistan fan in an India jersey along with a box of firecrackers. This and the fact that it was shot inside Star Sports studio featuring commentators Harsha Bhogle and Aakash Chopra made it a welcome surprise. The catch here was that if Pakistan were to qualify, they needed India to beat Ireland, hence the grumpy fan was supporting his rivals. The surprise elements in this Mauka ad, made the series impactful again, after few lukewarm ones.
4. India vs Bangladesh
With the caption India vs the World, this TVC was a complete departure from tradition. It showed a Bollywood-esque song and dance sequence in a qawaalli face-off between the original grumpy Pakistan fan, who is joined by fans of other participating teams, and a group of Indian fans. This ad worked because the usual Indian vs other fans and the Pakistan fan’s jersey change was getting monotonous.
5. Pakistan vs Ireland
This ad was different again, in the sense that it focused on a Pakistan match, instead of India. It showed commentators in the Star Sports studio discussing Pakistan’s chances of reaching the quarterfinals only if they defeated Ireland and Pakistan’s mascot fan listening in on this conversation. It worked because of its change in approach, talking about Pakistan’s match more than the fan’s jersey changes.
6. India vs UAE
The Pakistan fan, annoyed at the South African fan after their team’s loss to India, throws their jersey away, only to be visited by a UAE fan who gifts him the UAE team jersey. This third ad of the series was unimaginative compared to the first two, with the return of the titular character as the only saving grace.
7. Pakistan qualifying
This was a short TVC and only showed the Pakistan fan changing back into his Pakistan jersey, after briefly donning the Indian one, as mentioned above. This focused on the Pakistan’s chances (mauka) again.
8. India vs West Indies
This ad was easily the worst of the lot. The Pakistan fan, after chaging colours from South Africa to UAE, all in the hopes of an Indian defeat, is visited by a courier person who delivers the West Indies jersey to him, as it’s the next team India was to play. He also delivers a packet of colous as the match was to be held on Holi. The courier man, advertised the online shopping brand YepMe.com and this showed Star Sports’ clear intention to milk the Mauka ads for all they were worth.
This is the ranking of all the Mauka ads so far. This list will be updated if and when more Mauka ads are released.