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31% of ads aired during the Tokyo Olympics comprised Indian athletes

When Indian athletes were not on the stadium aiming for the gold, they were on the screen in advertisements

Indian boxer Mary Kom at Tokyo Olympics

Mary Kom (Source: Getty)


Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 9 Sep 2021 6:24 AM GMT

Not only did the Indian Olympians have their best-yet performance at the Tokyo Olympics, but they also prevailed over the advertisement sector on TV. You literally couldn't take your eyes off your favourite athlete as in one second they were winning a point, and in the other, they were endorsing a brand!

As per the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), 31% of the advertisements that aired during the Olympics consisted of Indian Olympic athletes. If we break down that number further, we get to know that 69% of that number featured female Olympians.

Out of all the athletes who made an appearance in an advertisement, teenage shooter Manu Bhaker was the most featured athlete, closely followed by Olympic bronze medallist PV Sindhu. Other prominent veterans and stars who graced the screen include Yogeshwar Dutt, Manika Batra, Mary Kom, Deepika Kumari, and many more.

The official broadcaster of the Tokyo games in the country, Sony Pictures Sports Network, signed over 11 sponsors for this year's Olympics. Some of the names included big-wigs like Coca-Cola, JSW, and Amul. Apart from being co-presenting and associate sponsors, many went on to put out advertisements that celebrated the Indian Olympians.

Different brands took different approaches to cheer on their favourite athletes with their own made-up ditties and slogans. JSW's 'Rukna Nahi Hai' advertisements highlighted the indomitable spirit of the Indian contingent who refused to back down even during the lockdown stages of the pandemic. The inspiring video featured shuttler PV Sindhu, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, and runner Avinash Sable.

The INOX Group took out a video, consisting of veteran Mary Kom, paddler Manika Batra, and boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav, that emphasised on the phrase 'Aayega India', perhaps hinting the country will finally arrive at the big stage and return with glory.

Thums Up, with their 'Toofan wahi hai jo sab palat de' advertisement, really stuck it to all the naysayers that constantly demotivate budding sportspersons in our country.

The video featured shooter Manu Bhaker, wrestler Bajrang Punia, and boxer Vikas Krishan Yadav. Created by advertising giant Ogilvy India, the video focussed on the stereotypes and prejudices that surround our society, often affecting aspiring athletes.

Hence we see that not only were the fans excited for the Olympics but brands too were coming forward to show their support to sports in the country. After the country's total of 7 medals, their best-yet medal haul, Indian sports will be looking forward to such acts of exposure and support.

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