Thums Up’s latest ad has three main elements: Salman Khan, toofani stunts and a big dollop of familiarity
Campaign: Main Hoon Toofani
Brand: Thums Up
Company: Coca-Cola India
Agency: Leo Burnett
The ad film opens on a cabin where Salman Khan seems to have run out of Thums Up. A lady friend offers to get him another soft-drink, but Khan scoffs at the idea of a ‘replacement’. A series of stunts follow, with him riding a bike across a water body, onto the beach and then catching up with a Thums Up truck to grab a bottle of the drink. The voiceover goes: “Main Hoon Toofani.”
For Thums Up, no matter how the campaign proposition has been framed, the core message remains that if you run out of the drink, nothing else can replace the ‘thunder’. Throw in a set of action sequences, an action hero, a ‘thunder’ catchphrase and you have the next Thums Up ad. That is more or less the formula the brand has stuck to, and that’s exactly what we get to see in the most recent ad. The timing for the ad’s release is exemplary, having launched post Salman Khan’s acquittal from court, laying to rest rumours of whether the brand would look for a new ambassador.
The TVC, crafted by Leo Burnett, appeals to the aspiring ‘macho’ man, the Salman bhai fan, the kind of man who wants to be seen as the Thums Up drinker and would go to any lengths for this drink. Even the Thums Up truck on a dusty highway road is becoming a fixture in the brand’s commercials. The campaign propositions over the years have focused on variations of thunder. Thums Up patrons have ‘tasted the thunder’, ‘grown up with Thums Up’, then the toofan arrived, and now the brand is asking, “Kuch aur…woh kya hota hai?” Having said that, we don’t believe the brand positioning has evolved with changing times, unlike rival Pepsi. The creators clearly swear by the ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ adage.
Sachin Das Burma, group executive creative director, Leo Burnett, shares the ‘thunder’ within the bottle reflects the thunder within an individual, ready to be unleashed. “This is where the ‘Main Hoon Toofani’ philosophy comes alive. With never seen before visuals we have a spectacle.” But besides the action sequences and the background track composed by Samiruddin, is there something new being communicated? We don’t think so. There’s nothing wrong with going down the tried and tested route. But maybe, just maybe, it is time for a different execution for a thunder-packed idea?