Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sprite : Ban Gaya Bakwaas !

Brand : Sprite
Company: Coca Cola
Agency : O&M

Sprite is one of the fastest growing brand in the 7000 crore carbonated soft drink (CSD) market in India. Taking the place of the erstwhile Limca, the brand is positioned as a basic thirst quencher. The brand in India is competing with Mountain Dew.

Sprite was launched in India in 1999 has caught the attention of Indian consumer by positioning itself as a plain soft drink. The initial baseline have rightly captured the essence of Sprite as “ Bujaye only pyas, Baki All Bakwas “. The protagonist in the campaigns also have that “ cool “ attitude thus breaking clutter of high decibel Cola ads. While Mountain Dew which have a cult status in the west so far did not achieve such a status in India. Analysts say that the protagonists in Mountain Dew does not have the mass appeal as that of Sprite. Mountain Dew world wide is positioned as an icon blaster. In India, Coca Cola was able to capitalize on that positioning better with Sprite.

With the war in this segment hotting up , Dew tried to directly attack the Sprite by portraying the protagonist as a dumbass. But not with much success.

Sprite changed the baseline of “ Baki all Bakwaas “ to “ No gyan only Sprite” and tried to further build on the successful positioning. But some of the ads went too far with the protagonist portraying a larger than life image. Then again the baseline changed to “ Clear Hai “ .
I feel that the baseline “ Baki all Bakwaas “ was changed too soon because it had immense potential for further communication and clearly states the brand’s essence. The subsequent baseline had to be scrapped because it offered limited substance to the creative team to work on. The latest baseline is also have limited flexibility compared to the Bakwaas baseline.

It is evident that the brand is going to lose its soul by having a celebrity endorsement in the form of Sania Mirza. I have no idea why a brand that is positioned as a plain thirst quencher, promoted as an icon blaster, go after a celebrity? By using the celebrity, the brand has diluted what ever equity it had created over these years. Just think about a consumer who have used Sprite because he is bored by all the hype of colas ( they are the defined TG of Sprite isn’t it?) by seeing the brand towing the same line as the other brands, will he be impressed?

Now Mountain Dew is serving for match point….

Sprite : Ban Gaya Bakwaas