Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Cola War hots up... but advertising standards go down !!!

With the weather turning on the heat, the cola wars are too gathering some steam. And as is typical of the advertising in that industry, the latest commercials churned out are mostly lousy and in-your-face.

So starting the slide was the latest Pepsi commercial featuring SRK, Ranbir and Deepika. Watch the video here. Released in December (a month after Sawaariya and OSO thrust the Ranbir-Deepika pair into the limelight). This ad is probably the latest example of the generally mediocre commercials that Pepsi dishes out (Remember the largely forgettable SRK and John commercial anyone ?). They have certainly slid a long way from the first Pepsi ad in the late 1980s (remember Juhi and Remo ? or even Mahima, Aamir and Ash ? Compared to those standards, the 'Youngistan' ad certainly does not register.

Not to miss a chance, Sprite seems to have taken full advantage via its latest commercial (watch it here). A delightful spoof on the Pepsi ad, it drives home the point that for a large section of the viewers, simply having hot stars but little else does not work, be it a 3 hr movie or a 50 second commercial.

Amidst all this, the two other big brands have identified their brand identity and have accordingly maintained a consistent theme through the commercials. Coke's latest ad (with Hrithik as the sole star) has a sweet little jingle running through it and conveys the feeling of celebration quite well, something which Coke has been associated with it (recall the Diwali ads with Hrithik and Aishwariya). On the other hand, ThumsUp continues its projection as the young man's drink and accordingly has Akshay Kumar as its ambassador (though Akki not really the young Khiladi :).

Hopefully the next offering from Pepsi would be something to look forward to !!!



Monsieur K said...

Both, Coke & Pepsi have a particular brand image the world over. Coke, as a brand, has always stood for good life, happiness, celebration (thats why you remember their Diwali ads, or the current ad featuring Hrithik); on the other hand, Pepsi (being the challenger in the US) sought to target the baby boomer, or Generation X in the US - so, they went for a naughty, brattish kind of an image - in any of their ads, you will see people pulling legs, playing pranks, etc. And Pepsi will always try to associate itself with the younger generation.

No comments on the quality of the current ads.
But had attended a workshop on what does each individual brand signify during my summer training. Wahi par yeh sab pataa chalaa tha.

Even within Coke (company), each of their brands - Coke, Thums Up, Sprite, Fanta have a different brand image/value/standing. Likewise for Pepsi.

nevertheless, its fun to see both of them taking potshots at each other :D

Amit Gokhale said...

Take your point abt Pepsi trying to associate itself with teens and Gen X.. but still their commercials leave a lot to be desired.. for e.g. the Mahima-Aamir-Ash ad appealed to the youth in a classy way (it also was probably Ash's entry into the modelling scene).. lately tho, something is amiss..

Dhananjay said...

Amusing over the weekend was reading a book on branding and it talked about how Coke goofed up with New Coke in its attempt to take over the youth market from Pepsi. If the ads are any indications looks like finally it is getting it right in terms of attracting the Gen Next or is it? for the views are of a 30 year old.
About the quality of ads it may have something do with Prasoon Joshi being the creative director for Coca Cola India.

Samcho said...

Nice observations... both in the blog and the comments.

Adding to Keku's point:
Coke commercials are truely about celebrations and also memories. They associate guitar nights, eating out etc. with coke.Looks like a more mature and established brand that gels well with its leadership.
Pepsi is more towards youth. Even I find Coke ads better but Pepsi is interesting for first few views. As true with entertaining ads the expectations and wearouts will be high for Pepsi.

Seems all of us have fallen out of the target segment-Youth and Vibrant.