Aamir Khan. There were no signs of the man at Film City's studio 12 where the shooting of Manno bhabhi's sequel was about to start. Except for the A-4 size paper bearing his name, taped on a bus with dark windows.
"Aamir is having a problem with his moustache," explained Prasoon Joshi, regional CD, South & South East Asia, McCann-Erickson. Make-up ace Mickey Contractor was trying to set it right.
"Dadu, the shot is ready," shouted someone in the direction of Abhijit Chaudhuri. It was the second day of the shoot. This was the second Coke commercial for Chaudhuri of Black Magic Productions. The cigarette dangled from the director's fingers, as he coolly inspected the set.
Some moments later, an old, dhoti clad, bespectacled man walked into the studio. "Are we ready?" he asked Chaudhuri, in crisp English.
A month later, Manno bhabhi is seen gently arguing with the same elderly person - Dinu kaka, the family servant - over a bottle of Coca-Cola. "Arrey, thanda nahin hai Dinu kaka?" she asks.
Dinu Kaka is, as we all know by now, is Aamir.
After Aamir's debut as Manno bhabhi, the daughter-in-law of the house, Coca-Cola and McCann-Erickson decided to add another leaf to Manno bhabhi's fictional life. While in the first episode, she promoted Coca-Cola's home consumption, in the second, bhabhi tries to overcome traditional barriers or rather, habits of people at home that may come in the way of having a 'thanda'.
Thus, the marketing brief this time from Vikas Gupta, vice- president - marketing, Coca-Cola India - though not very different from the previous one - reiterated Coca-Cola's position as a beverage for all occasions with the additional input of an-anytime-drink as well.
This position of Coca-Cola marks an important milestone in the journey of 'Thanda matlab Coca-Cola'. It is a perfect ending to the struggling days of Coca-Cola trying to establish its heartland identity.
Coca-Cola gave itself the name - Thanda - three years ago. The Mumbaiya tapori introduced Coca-Cola's new nomenclature in the most elementary text book style. 'Thanda matlab Coca-Cola' was demonstrated thus: Thanda stands for Coca-Cola. The Hyderabadi studied his lesson well, and so, when the girl asked for Coca-Cola, he told her to simply ask for Thanda instead. Because Thanda meant Coca-Cola. Which is why the thirsty girls ganne de khet vichh do not make that mistake. They ask for Thanda. And, the Punjabi farmer, without a straw of doubt, tugs a pale full of Coca-Cola bottles from a well. He knew thanda was Coca-Cola.
For those, who did forget that Thanda meant Coca-Cola, and confused it with something else, the Sherpa made sure they didn't. There was the Bengali babumoshai and the Bihari too, but their task was of a different nature.
Till this point, Thanda was the centre of experience for Coca-Cola. Now, the 'thanda matlab' campaign chugs along and with the Manno bhabhi-Dinu kaka TVC, the focus has shifted to keeping a bottle of Coca-Cola at home.
This is how the creative unfolds. Manno bhabhi checks out the fridge and to her dismay, finds that "…thanda nahin hai." Dinu kaka, who is least bothered, replies, "Le aayenge, le aayenge, jaake baazar se thanda le aayenge."
However, when she points out that it's late in the night, he reasons, "Arrey, Is vakat kaun mangega thanda bhayiya?" Just then, a bunch of youngsters storm in - all thirsting for Coca-Cola. Dinu kaka doesn't know where to turn to. "Bhabhi… bachaiye, aap hi bachaiye." Playing the saviour, Manno bhabhi takes out a Coke bottle from a jar.
Having learnt his lesson, kaka dishes out his sound advice, "Ghar mein rakhiye thanda matbal Coca-Cola."
According to McCann's Joshi, Dinu kaka's initial resistance reflects a common habit. "People rush to the nearest market only when there is a need for a cool drink at home, or when guests are coming over. And, it usually happens at the last minute. Consumers generally are not in the habit of stocking drinks at home," he explains.
Clearly, Dinu kaka's thinking is symptomatic of a traditional barrier that had to be overcome "Many people are set in their old ways of thinking. Which is why Dinu kaka, the old servant of the house, doesn't pay heed to what Manno bhabhi says. After all, she is younger to him. But when reason is shown, he understands," Joshi adds.
The style in which the reasoning process was shown is rather interesting. The musical parody, as a form, allows a young Manno bhabhi to argue with the grumpy Dinu kaka without running the risk of disrespecting him. The choreography was done by veteran Bollywood dance director Saroj Khan.
"You see, the kitchen and the running of the kitchen is entirely Dinu kaka's territory. Now, he doesn't like a young member of the family telling him to change his ways. So the style of the narrative works well in this situation," points out Joshi.
Talking about the script, using 'matbal' instead of 'matlab' was actually Aamir's idea. He came up with that suggestion during the course of the shoot. The idea was to convey how the word gets pronounced by an old man from the Hindi heartland.
Impressed, are you? But then, creativity naturally flows with the Thanda fizz of Coke. © 2005 agencyfaqs!