Coke, Pepsi gear up for World Cup war

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 22 2011, 16:15pm hrs
Theres a new fizz in the ongoing cola war between Coca-Cola India and PepsiCo India, as both companies gear up for the onset of summer. In a bid to take on its arch rival, Coca-Cola India is fine-tuning communication strategy which includes, consumer engagement programmes and mass media advertising plans to promote its flagship brands Coke, Fanta, Limca and Thums-up in the next few months.

To start with, Coca- Cola India is planning to launch an aggressive ad campaign featuring its new brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar to build its corporate image. On the other hand, PepsiCo India is in the process of rolling out a high-decibel television campaign which includes four television commercials featuring MS Dhoni, Harbajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and cine star Ranbir Kapoor during the ICC World Cup 2011. To usher in the summer, PepsiCo India is currently getting ready to launch a multi-media ad campaign to promote its brands during the peak season.

Cashing in on the popularity of the ICC World Cup 2011 and IPL-4, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are unleashing ad campaigns and ground activations to woo consumers. In fact, cola wars may pitch Sachin Tendulkar against MS Dhoni in the next few months. While captain MS Dhoni is leading PepsiCos ad campaigns, star batsman Sachin Tendulkar will lead Cokes corporate and brand campaigns. Clearly, there will be a clash between brand Dhoni and brand Sachin in the next few months.

On Cokes communication strategy, a company spokesperson said, Sachin Tendulkar is our Happiness Ambassador and we will leverage his association with the company to amplify our CSR, corporate and brand messages.

According to a company spokesperson, the onset of summer season provides coke an opportunity to reinforce the companys core creative idea and messages to the consumers for each of the brands. We therefore will be launching our campaigns for different brands shortly. We will be rolling out with the campaign for Sprite based on the core creative idea of University of Freshology. This will be followed by our campaigns for Coca-Cola, Thums Up, Fanta, Limca and some of our still beverage brands, in course of time, he added.

Meanwhile , PepsiCo India has launched a brand new commercial featuring Virender Sehwag and cine star Ranbir Kapoor as an extension of its Change the Game campaign for the ICC Cricket World Cup. Sandeep Singh Arora, executive vice president -marketing, Cola, PepsiCo India said, Change the Game is a big idea in the context of the game of cricket. With this campaign, we want to inspire the youth to change the game, be innovative, take risks, and do things differently even if it has not been done before. After the World Cup 2011, PepsiCo India will be shifting its marketing focus to launch fresh ad campaigns to promote its brands during the summer.