South African elections overtake IPL hype (Lead)

April 24th, 2009 - 10:22 am ICT by IANS  

Shah Rukh Khan By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, April 24 (IANS) The general elections in South Africa have overshadowed the media hype over 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, and even 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 Shah Rukh Khan and appearing in a film role - getting very few column centimetres.

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

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

Analysts commented that there is little left to excite anyone - the ads themselves are bland, with a simple message saying “the heat is on”, and carrying the dates of IPL matches and 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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