Open Music

Written by Anushree Bhattacharyya | Updated: Sep 3 2013, 13:46pm hrs
Coca-Cola India has brought back its successful musical show Coke Studio@MTV. In its third season, which started on August 17, some of the most popular music composers including AR Rahman, Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant, Ram Sampath and Papon will be seen.

The fact that we have new music, means that we have a new season of Coke Studio. Also, after the last two seasons, the time had come for us to ponder about the stature of this property. The popularity of the property has helped in bringing people such as AR Rahman, Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant, Ram Sampath under one roof to compose unique music, said Wasim Basir, directorintegrated marketing communications, Coca-Cola India.

The Atlanta-based beverage company first launched Coke Studio two years back on June 17, 2011 with an aim to attract consumers with music. Needless to say, the gamble has paid off. Coca-Cola is not a music company and also has no intentions of being one. At the same time, we want to use music to engage with our consumers. We believe that with Coke Studio we have a property now which is prized enough for people to want to be a part of it, explained Basir.

As per the company, over the past two seasons Coke Studio@MTV has got around 70 million viewers on television, 15 million views across Youtube, 1.9 million fans on Facebook, and over 1,50,000 thousand tweets with #cokestudio. At a time when channels as well as brands are trying to find the right concept for advertiser funded programmes, also known as branded content, it appears Coca-Cola India has struck the right chord with Coke Studio. Interestingly, the property has registered more than 15 million downloads and more than one million audio streams, says the company. Coca-Cola has so far organised 15 live shows, and claims to have sold around 35 thousand CDs.

The property was developed keeping in mind the needs of the brand as well as the channel and this is one of the biggest reasons behind its success. Branded content needs to meet the demands of the brand it is being associated with, said Navin Khemka, managing partner, ZenithOptimedia.

Similar to last year, the show is being aired on MTV apart from being simultcast on Reliance ADAGs radio network BIG 92.7FM. The show is also aired on Doordarshan and Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors apart from several regional channels including PTC Chakde (Punjab), Anjan TV (Bihar), Raj Music Karnataka (Karnataka), Raj Musix (Tamil Nadu), Dhoom Music (West Bengal) and Ramdhenu (North East). The show once again comprises eight episodes, each featuring a music composer with his own compositions. The last episode will, however, feature independent bands with their own music.

The eighth episode, as always, will be an opportunity for young musicians to take their music to a larger audience, so this episode will see six young artists producing one song each. This season will also see the winners of the Leap Frog competition, WinitTickoo, a Mumbai based band performing, said Basir.

MTV, too, on its part, claims to have left no stone unturned to ensure the third edition of Coke Studio goes on to become a major hit amongst consumers. This year the set reflects the interior of a jamming room. This has been done to ensure that Coke Studio looks authentic to viewers, so much so that every time a composer plays it should give the impression that everyone has come together for a jamming session, said Aditya Swami, executive vice-president and business head, MTV India.

Interestingly, apart from the usual promotional activities, which include promoting the property on air across Viacom18s bouquet of channels, digital through Facebook and Twitter, Coca-Cola India released three songs two by AR Rahman and one composed by Saleem Sulaiman before the show went on air to build the momentum. We began with a big bang on August 1 and released a song composed by AR Rahman. Just before Eid we released another song composed by Salim Suleman and finally, we released another song composed by AR Rahman on Independence Day, added Basir.

Additionally, the beverage company is relying on its product packaging to further promote its television property. Through on-pack promotion on the 400 and 600 ml bottles of Coke, the company is urging consumers to scan the bar-code on the label in order to receive goodies. Basir goes on to say that the company is trying to get more and more consumers consume its beverages and give them a nice rewarding experience either through music or something to do with Coke Studio.

This year Coke Studio is not going to be just a TV property. We are trying to spread out from being a six-to-eight-week property to being six-to-eight-month property through mega concerts also known as megacerts. The concerts will be organised at different points of time. Music consumption can happen throughout the year and is not limited to a particular time period, explained Basir.

The show is like an umbilical cord attached to the youth. One of the reasons behind its phenomenon success is the fact that it is contemporary which makes the youth sit up and take notice. Also, it was differentiated content that helped the brand attract so many eyeballs, said Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Baijoor Consults.