South African elections overtake IPL hype

April 24th, 2009 - 5:01 am ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, April 24 (IANS) The general elections held Wednesday in South Africa have overshadowed the media hype about the Indian Premier League (IPL) here after the initial frenzy of the opening games in Cape Town.

Most newspapers are now carrying just short match reports, with side attractions - such as a young woman spotted in the crowd at each game getting a shot at instant Bollywood fame by being the guest of Shahrukh Khan and appearing in a film role - are getting very little column centimetres.

On Thursday, as election results began streaming in, even the sports pages in mainstream newspapers were reduced as the electionsm regarded to be the most critical ever since the first democratic elections in 1994 took up most of the space.

IPL organisers, however, appear to be undeterred in continuing their unprecedented advertising campaign, continuing to buy up full page advertisements in the newspapers.

Analysts have commented that there is little left to excite anyone about the bland ads with a simple message of “the heat is on” and the dates of the IPL, with a few pictures of leading cricketers.

“They could at least have made an attempt to change the ad after placing it on three pages in every newspaper at the start of the series. That way they could have generated newer interest, but it’s now getting a bit boring seeing the same ads over and over, and especially when it is on so many street lamps too,” said an advertising agency executive who asked not to be named.

“There appears to be little creativity among those using the clearly huge IPL advertising budget.”

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