Star Sports rides a cultural wave to score in Bengal

Bengal and Football has always been inseparable. Over the years through oral narratives, cultural references and fierce rivalries this beautiful game thrives in the hearts of the people and flows in the veins of almost everyone who have settled in this state. The frenzy, interest and support football generates is unparalleled anywhere in India and every time a ball finds its way to the back of the net this passion is celebrated.

In Bengal, football is not just a game. It’s a way of life, that separates food habits, cultures and geographical roots. And binds everyone in a single thread of tradition. It is fiercely played. Fanatically followed. And revered like a religion. In every household. In every gully, ground and stadium, each pass is a chance at glory and each goal, a revenge exacted.

Star Sports taps at the heart of this sentiment with their recent television commercial promoting ATK in Bengal for the 4th Season of ISL. Conceptualised by J Walter Thompson, Kolkata, the film revives a timeless hit refrain ‘Sob khelar shera Bangalir tumi Football’ [Of all games, Bengal’s favourite is football] from the 1971 film, ‘Dhanyi Meye’. The song enjoys immense popularity in Bengal with every other football rhetoric ending with same words.

Building around this cultural hook, the classic is reimagined as a rap song, that uses stadium chanting as a key musical element. The lyrics celebrate the way football is played in Bengal, with mud, blood and heart, which is beautifully captured in the gritty and pacey visual montage. The refrain appears like a melodic breather and a surprise, where the whole state sings along.

The task was to garner fan pride for ATK in Bengal. In a state where lot of fresh new things are afoot and the air is full of positivity this film sets off in the right direction. It captures the passion, in the context of a new, modern Bengal, beautifully. The sign off reflects the mood of the times, ‘Natun juge, ATK buke’ implying support for the relatively new club.

“The tagline of the film, Notun Jugey ATK Bukey, which means ‘In this new dawn ATK is in our hearts’, captures the very essence of the idea behind the film. ATK is one of the strong contenders in the Hero Indian Super League and continues to inspire football fans across the state. We are looking forward to see how the 2-time champions fare in the new thrilling 4th season of Hero ISL.”; said Star India spokesperson.

Arjun Mukherjee, VP and ECD, J Walter Thompson, Kolkata added, “In a state where football is a religion it was very important for us to portray the game in its truest, grittiest, original form. The challenge was not only to connect with hardcore nostalgia, where the song helped, but also to present the imagery in a fresh new way, so that it connects deep with football lovers and builds on the swelling fan base of ATK.”

The commercial is produced by Oink Films and directed by Shirsha Guha Thakurta. The song has been composed by Subhajit Mukherjee and sung by Bonney Chakraborty. This film, made specially for Bengal and ATK, is being aired in Star Sports and Star regional channels during the season.


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