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Coca-Cola celebrates homecoming this Diwali

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | October 26, 2010
Coca-Cola's new campaign uses the 400-year-old Warli art form to celebrate the joy of this festive season

Coca-Cola India spreads the spirit of celebration and togetherness this Diwali with its new television commercial. The campaign, focused on the youth, talks about their desire to remain close to their roots, even as they step out in search of new opportunities.

Titled, 'Come Home on Deepawali', the commercial opens on a young boy in a hilly region, who is not able to find a bus to go back home. He checks out a bus that has broken down and even asks a couple of people at the bus stop whether there is a bus to Delhi, but receives no response. Shrugging in disappointment, he sits at a tea stall, opens a bottle of Coca-Cola and wishes himself, 'Happy Diwali'.

Suddenly, an animated firecracker bursts in the sky. The boy is startled, but tries his luck by saying 'Happy Diwali' again. This time, animated characters - created in the Warli art form -- begin dancing on the bottle. A peppy soundtrack accompanies their antics. These characters get off the bottle, onto the bench, and to the bus. As if by magic, the bus lights up, and the driver calls for passengers going to Delhi. The elated boy runs and hops on, shouting that he is going home. The TVC ends with the tagline, 'Coke Open Happiness'.

The film has been conceptualised by McCann Erickson. The team in the creative department includes Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman and regional executive creative director (Asia Pacific); Ashish Chakravarty, creative chief; Tirtha Ghosh, creative director and Nakul Sharma, creative director (copy). The servicing team includes Debashis Paul, executive president, servicing and Peter McAliaster, project manager; while the planning team includes Sandip Mahapatra, vice-president, planning. The film has been directed by Dibakar Banerjee of Freshwater Films.

Speaking on the concept behind using the Warli art form, Joshi says, "The art form brings the feeling of joy and festivity in the commercial. The idea was to showcase the feeling of celebration and the joy of coming home this Diwali."

Apart from the TVC, Coca-Cola has also launched an outdoor campaign and on-ground initiatives such as road shows and contests across key markets. The digital leg of the campaign comprises Facebook and mobile applications.

Anand Singh, director, marketing (Colas), Coca-Cola India, says, "Coca-Cola appeals to our optimism, to our belief in goodness and stands for celebrating togetherness. It is about enabling and acting as a catalyst in making connections. Much like the brand, Warli -- the traditional art form -- is also about togetherness and simplicity, and symbolises our connection to our roots."

He adds, "The Coca-Cola Diwali campaign ties all this together. It is a tribute to the youth of today. It captures their emotions and their desire to remain close to their roots, as they step out in search of new opportunities."

Spreading the cheer?

Speaking about whether Coca-Cola been successful in triggering the festive feeling, K V Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett India, says that the TVC is a good attempt to create the feeling of happiness before Diwali. He adds, however, "The TVC at the end is a little cold; it lacks the emotional touch. Nevertheless, the use of the Warli art form is interesting."

Naresh Gupta, director, strategy and planning, Dentsu Marcom, says, "The TVC sets alive the mood for the festive season. The use of the Warli art form has been particularly interesting. Overall, the TVC brings a nice feeling; and after a long time, I have seen a light commercial."

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