Unacademy hits a six with IPL ad film; draws praise for connecting sports and learning

Edtech unicorn Unacademy's new IPL ad film connects sports with learning in an innovative and "product-first" manner. No wonder people are raving about it.
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Unacademy is on a roll this year.

After recording stellar growth riding on the boom in edtech, raising huge rounds of capital, turning unicorn, and becoming the "official partner" of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, the startup is now turning heads with its new IPL ad film titled  ‘Cracking the Game’.

Released on Sunday ahead of IPL 2020's penultimate match, the 75-second now-viral ad has clocked 2.8 million views on Twitter, with close to 8,000 retweets and 45,000 favourites.

The ad conceptualised by Lowe Lintas, Bengaluru serves up a montage of match visuals involving all eight franchises in the league and tops it with a compelling overlay of sketches, diagrams, and a voice-over that sum up Unacademy's core offering.

The film starts by asking students what they have learnt from IPL 2020, and goes on to connect sporting moments to learning concepts such as Pythagoras theorem, magnetic induction, Darwin’s theory of evolution, melting point of metals, etc.

The ad has topped social media trends since its release last evening. Needless to say, cricket fans and sports handles on Twitter have lapped it up.

The IPL ad film has also drawn praise from leaders of India's startup ecosystem, including Unacademy investor and Sequoia Capital MD Shailendra Singh, who called it "incredible work".

Unacademy Co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal responded to Singh's tweet with "Let's crack it!" that has been the startup's advertising punchline since 2019.

Ajith Ramamurthy, Head of Sports Content and Online Partnerships, Royal Challengers Sports, praised the ad for its "product-first" approach.

Some others lauded Unacademy for connecting sports and learning.

Late last month, Unacademy CEO Gaurav Munjal attended TechSparks 2020, YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference, and revealed that the edtech unicorn had grown its revenues from Rs 2 crore to Rs 90 crore in the last one-and-a-half years.

"We are the innovation engine for the industry. Be it our content channels or user acquisition strategy or teachers; a lot of people have gone and copied us. We don’t have the best sales engine yet, and we are working towards that," he said.

Gaurav also shared that the $1.45-billion startup is playing the big game that is not restricted to just edtech. Unacademy's "audacious goal" is to compete with Netflix.

"Netflix today is bigger than Reliance. It is a $200-billion company. In edtech, the market is big in India and globally. We have a very audacious goal, which is 200X of what we are doing," he added.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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