Ankit Pathak on MakeMyTrip’s cheeky take on India-Pakistan cricket rivalry

MakeMyTrip along with their creative agency, Enormous, have decided to set aside rivalries and extend an open invitation to Pakistani fans, offering innovative discounts if Pakistan’s cricket team lost. This cheeky, fun, and spirited approach sought to bridge the gap between the two neighbours and strengthen bonds, acknowledging that great connections can be formed in times of distress. The campaign included clever coupon codes and a humorous visual element, bringing the rivalry to life with a smile.

In conversation with Adgully, Ankit Pathak, Creative Director, Enormous, speaks about the ideation behind this quirky campaign and their thought behind choosing print as a medium for this campaign.

Shedding light on the idea behind this campaign, Pathak said, “At Enormous, while we were making this campaign, we were honestly keeping our faith in the fact that this campaign can get viral. So, somewhere in our hearts, we wanted it to go viral. Now, when we’re seeing it happen, it is so unreal and so great. We were expecting it, but when you actually see it happen, you realise it is more than what you had expected. It feels a little surreal, kind of like a dream and I don’t want to wake up from this dream, but it’s great! We’ve been getting messages, Ashish (Khazanchi) has been calling up, giving us updates on who all are messaging and calling him up for this campaign, and the whole team is really excited about it.”

Sharing about the brief, he added, “Initially, when the brief came to us, it was a part of our MakeMyTrip Tested by Fans campaign, where we are getting together all of the big international superfans to come and test out our homestays and villas for Make My Trip. While we were at it, we felt that we had done our bit to launch the idea, now we should take it a step forward. We should do something with this great idea that we have in our hands, something that people really love. Mainly Indian fans love to see, to share, to read – it becomes that big smiling moment.”

Continuing further, Pathak said, “We realised that on the morning of the India-Pakistan match, what happens is that everybody stops everything that they are doing and they think about the match, they start talking about it, they start putting their meetings off by the day, they do it the next day. And the moment of an India-Pakistan match, where Indian fans always want to win, is something where we thought that we should do something for our fans to love this moment, and our client was very pivotal in this to just kind of guide us in that direction that this is where we should definitely do something and we somewhere decided that we will pick up this moment. And in fact, we will cheer for the Indian team in a fun, cheeky, quirky and new way, with its heart at the right place. We decided to invite all the Pakistani fans to come to our homestays. And a big thing that we thought of was that we should give them some nice offers. We should give them some crazy, new, completely unseen type of offers. We were jamming with the clients and in the team for many weeks. Somewhere while we all were chatting, we decided that let’s make the offers like – If Pakistan loses, we will give you great offers, the earlier they lose, the better the offer will be.”

“This is our way to cheer for team India and the fans for this match – be confident, we will win this match, and this positive vibe will make us win,” he exclaimed.

Pathak further added, “We decided to call them our neighbours. We asked them to forget the rivalry that we’ve had for a moment, because it is such a well known thing. Hence, we created an open invitation, where we asked them to forget our rivalries. We love our neighbors and that's why we have these offers for you. While you lost the match, you can come to our homestays, relax and recover from the loss. Great bonds are created at the time of distress and we want to make a better bond with you.”

He explained, “Since we are Team India, we are an Indian company and an Indian advertising agency, we decided to just resonate with the voice of our Indian fans and also give a funny, nice and cheeky take to the rivalry between the two teams in sportsman spirit. You can actually see these types of conversations a lot during the pre-match stage. We even created these coupon codes that were really popular, where the rival team actually used the phrases that they use, like ‘Boys played well’ and ‘Mauka Mauka’. Then we started adding together, so it just becomes more fun for the Indian fan to read and go to the match with a smile and more positive energy. Finally, we put together a visual where you see the Pakistan team breaking TV sets.”

Adding further, he said, “We do realise the fact that the memes that we see on our social media, that single frame joke that our friends, parents and everybody sends us, it’s a static thing that they send us. You go through it, it’s funny, and you forward it to your friends. We realised that print, too, is at that place. You can have that type of social media friendly memes on print as well. That’s why we put together this whole open letter to Pakistani fans with this visual, because we do believe that print is a great medium to put your ideas ahead, if you use it well. We decided to do a print ad because we do really believe that one visual with nicely written words can really tie up and have a lot of fun – it is very quick, people don’t need to see the video, the image size is less, so it is easier to share as well. We actually are big believers in print, so we decided that now, since nobody else is doing much with it, let’s go ahead and do something great and have some fun in print.”

The Enormous team that worked on this campaign alongside Ankit were:

Ashish Khazanchi

Daksh Haria

Swapnil Vinerkar

Abhijeet Patil 

Praveen Kamble

Neha Singh

Rahul Parbate 

Soumitra Patnekar

K Sanjeevi Rajan


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