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Coca-Cola’s 2015 summer advertising campaign is a sweet story that will resonate with many Indians

By: | Published: May 19, 2015 12:24 AM

Campaign: Bidaai
Brand:  Coca-Cola
Company : Coca-Cola India
Agency: McCann Erickson

The Campaign

The ad begins with a shot of a car decorated with flowers going on a highway. Inside is the bridegroom and his bride, played by actors Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt, sitting all uptight and nervous, still strangers for each other. The husband abruptly reaches up to roll  down the window on the other side. Taken aback, the wife looks at him questioningly. He replies that the air-conditioning inside the car is not working and asks her permission. She nods her head in agreement and he rolls down the window to let in fresh air. Next moment, the husband, who is as nervous as his wife, in a high pitched voice asks her to tell him about her likes and dislikes. The surprised wife says ‘yes’ and adds ‘Coca-Cola’. The shocked husband looks at her as he tries to comprehend her answer. The wife explains that she is fond of the Coca-Cola taste. The husband smiles at her. We next see the car parked in front of a roadside dhaba as the wife waits outside for her husband to return. He run towards her holding a bottle of Coca-Cola in his hand and gives it to her. She takes the bottle from him but gives him back. “But don’t you like Coca-Cola?” he asks to which she replies in the affirmative and says that she also likes him. The husband smiles and drinks from the bottle and then gives it to his wife who too drinks from the same bottle. The ad film ends with a voice-over saying, “Taste jo har dil chahe’. (Taste which is desired by all hearts).

Our Take

Every summer beverage makers and their creative agencies face the same challenge – coming out with interesting ads that make the viewers sit up and remember the brand on a hot sunny day. This year was no different. The new Coca-Cola ad, featuring two young actors Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt, may not be as brilliant as previous  Coke campaigns such as ‘Thanda matlab, Coca-Cola’, but it does leave the audiences with a happy feeling at the end. Living up to the brand’s proposition of spreading happiness, the ad film successfully establishes that Coca-Cola can help in breaking the ice between two people, here, a newly married couple.

The new Coke ad film is an example of how one need not tell complicated stories to spread the brand’s message.

“Coca-Cola is one of the most loved brands in the world and has had a long journey in India, connecting with the consumers at a deep, emotional level. We’ve been able to sustain the love for the brand through some very thoughtfully crafted communication as we operate in a space where the emotional connect with the consumer is paramount. Coca-Cola is a brand that means different things to different people across the globe. The common thread across all those emotions being happiness and the celebration of togetherness,” said Debabrata Mukherjee, vice president, marketing and commercial, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia. A story as simple as this, where two people who are virtually strangers come together because of a drink, at times can achieve what a complicated and layered story can do. With a few words and a linear storyline, this Coca-Cola ad is able to strike a emotional chord in the viewer’s heart. With arranged marriages between strangers still the norm in many parts of India, there will be  many a youngster and even nostalgic middle-aged couples who can identify with this feeling of akwardness. In short, Coca-Cola’s 2015 summer campaign is a sweet story of many Indians.

RATINGS: ***1/2

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