India is on festival mode with the most favourite festival, Diwali being round the corner. Festivals are the perfect time for everyone across the social structure to celebrate with their near and dear ones. And when the atmosphere is filled with happiness and love then how can you not celebrate with a glass of Coke, at least the soda company thinks so.
Looking back at the marketing efforts of the cola giant, the company had been celebrating #OpenHappiness in India from the early part of 2015 with two new and popular faces of Bollywood - Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. However for this Diwali or rather the festive season the brand has stuck to its old communication of celebrating moments with family over a glass of chilled Coke.
The brand’s latest communication campaign, ‘Coca-Cola pilao mehmano ko kareeb lao’, based on the idea, Everybody loves the taste of Coca-Cola, aims to celebrate light, spontaneous and uninhibited moments with friends and family. It reiterates that the real joy of relationships is felt when connections are informal and not riddled with formality.
Conceptualized by McCann Worldgroup, the new campaign that went on-air on October 22, 2021 has actor Alia Bhatt playing a newly wed bride when her husband’s aunt and her family drop in unannounced. Like an ideal Indian daughter in law, she tries to please the guest by asking them their food choices. Obviously she is an uncomfortable position, but her aunt makes life easy for her when she says she wants a glass of chilled Coke.
The magic of Coke forces others to change their mind and everyone is seen enjoying Coke. The ad ends with the message – get relatives close by serving them Coke. They then happily pose for a much needed selfie.
The TVC has been created by team McCann led by Prateek Bhardwaj with guidance from Prasoon Joshi, and directed by Pushpendra Misra of Flying Saucer.
Interestingly, this year’s TVC around the festival gives you a similar taste of last year. Last year’s TVC also focused on getting rid of formalities between relationships, obviously Coke was the enabler. The ad ended with a voice over saying remove formalities and serve Coke.
The only difference that I could make out was: this year’s TVC has a known Bollywood celebrity who is consistently playing a newly wed bride for Coke.
In addition to mass media advertising, the integrated communication program for the new TVC will be extensively leveraged through social media, radio and point of sale. Coca-Cola India will also soon be rolling out the special Coca-Cola Festival gift packs. However, going by the past history the brand won’t do more than sharing the TVC on its social media pages. Read - How Coke Missed On Digital Storytelling For #OpenHappiness In India While Pepsi Scored With #CrashThePepsiIPL.
Coca-Cola remains the catalyst
Through this latest campaign the company once again strengthens its brand positioning that the drink can be enjoyed by one and all, as everybody loves the taste. Besides the drink is also acting as an ice breaker as it is bringing guests closer by getting rid of the burden of formalities and promoting relaxed conversations.
“Our new campaign, ‘Coca-Cola pilao, mehmano ko kareeb lao’, amplifies the need for such spontaneous acts of togetherness. We are conveying this message via a story around a newlywed bahu (bride) who is akin to the girl next door and how Coca-Cola becomes the catalyst in bringing her closer to the guests as they meet up over conversations and a refreshing Coca-Cola,” said Debabrata Mukherjee, VP – Marketing & Commercial, Coca-Cola India.
This summer has not been good for beverage companies. Moreover, the times have been bad for the packaged food and beverages products as they have been under public scrutiny regarding safety concerns. However Venkatesh Kini, President, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia remains bullish on growth and continuing with investments.
Lets hope this Diwali sales numbers bring happiness to Coke at the cost of consumers’ health.