In a surprising move, Coca-Cola launched a new variant for Thums Up celebrating 40 years of glorious challenging existence. The new variant is named Thums Up Charged. According to the company, the brand has more thunder in it compared to the parent product.
Thums Up Charged is currently running the launch campaign featuring the brand ambassador Ranveer Singh. As we know, Ranveer Singh replaced Salman Khan in 2016. With the new brand ambassador, the brand had also changed the narrative. While Thums Up always had the theme of the protagonist chasing the product and doing what it takes to get hold of the product, the new theme completely destroys the core promotional theme by making the protagonist a superhero with the brand as a sidekick.
The new variant also follows the same theme of the hero doing unbelievable stunts and brand is positioned as an enabler. The current ad is hyperbole at its worst and one wonders what the brand is trying to communicate.
The act of racing in reverse gear is something I cannot comprehend even in my dreams. While the earlier campaigns featuring Salman or Akshay, there was hyperbole but in those ads, the fact that the stunts are done for getting the brand made sense. There Thums Up was the hero, not anymore.
The logic of launching Thums Up Charged is also intriguing. What can be the possible reasons?
The stated reason is to expand the brand and fuel growth. Often brands use product-line extensions as tools for growth. But the question is whether a brand like Thums Up needs a variant for growth. My understanding is that Coca-Cola never aggressively pushed for growth for Thums Up. The brand is so strong that it doesn't need a variant for growth, only focused efforts from the company are needed.
A conspiracy theory from my side is that the company may be trying for a taste change for the brand. According to newspaper reports, the Thums Up Charged have a higher amount of caffeine which gives it more punch compared to the original one. The new variant will test the new taste and if the consumers accept the new taste, then slowly the variant will replace the original one in future.
The performance of Thums Up Charged would be an interesting thing to watch for months to come. This summer would decide the fate of this variant and the future of original Thums Up.
However, here is wishing a Happy 40th Birthday to Thums Up.