Thursday, March 05, 2009

Brand Update : Coca Cola

Coca Cola has launched their new campaign in India recently. The new campaign features the brand ambassador Gautam Gambhir and comes with a new positioning.

Watch the new TVC here : Coca Cola

The new campaign is a part of the global communication campaign initiated by Coca Cola known as Open Happiness.The Open Happiness campaign is an extension of the Coke Side of Life campaign of last year. Open Happiness campaign is based on the notion that Coke brings happiness to life. The brand tries to communicate the idea of " Enjoying life's simple pleasures".

In the press release, Coke says that " Central to Open Happiness is the notion of enjoying an ice cold coke and taking a small break from the day to connect with others ".
See the press release here : Open Happiness Campaign

The big idea behind this platform is that Coca Cola offers fun and refreshment whenever you need it.

India is also a market where the company has extended the Open Happiness Communication platform.The latest campaign is the first one on this positioning platform.

And a totally disappointing one. The agency has done total injustice to the wonderful idea that Open Happiness envisages.

Instead of connecting Coke with Happiness , the new ad puts Coke in a dangerous position. The central theme of the new ad is that " Coke ke sath Dost free " means " A friend free with Coke ".

The ad shows Gautam helping out the owner of an deserted store by putting a display that " You get a friend free with Coke " and people starts showing up because of the free offer !!!!

I am not being cynical or critical but here are my concerns about the current theme.

In my little understanding about the Indian youth psyche , the new generation youngsters spent lot of time hanging out with their friends. The new gen likes to have lot of friends and is also influenced heavily by their peers.

And having no friends is UNCOOL. Here Coke is somehow telling the consumers that the users of Coke are those who are in desperate need of friends . And the concept of " Free Dost with Coke" is discounting the value of both Friends and Coke. Why should you give something free ( even symbolic) with Coke. And will you accept a " Free " friend ? And the characters depicted in the ads look like lonely desperate guys searching for friends which is also UNCOOL as far as the younger generation is concerned.

The Indian version of Open Happiness platform has failed to understand the essence of this positioning and miserably failed to connect the concept of happiness and Coke.