Sparkle and cheer this New Year

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | December 28, 2011
Coca-Cola's latest campaign, Believe in a Happier Tomorrow, celebrates happiness and optimism, urging people to look at the brighter side of life in the new year.

Right from early childhood, one is bombarded with messages which communicate the triumph of good over evil, through epics, fairy tales, and folklore. The new television commercial of Coca-Cola conveys the same message, with an aim to usher in the New Year with optimism and happiness. Based on the company's brand philosophy of opening happiness, the brand's launched its new communication, 'Believe in a Happier Tomorrow', postulates the message of victory of the positive spirit over adversities.

The TVC, created by McCann Erickson, opens with a bunch of kids humming to the strum of a guitar. As the children sing, a montage is flashed on the screen, along with some text and statistics that support the images.

'For every tank in the world, there are 1,31,000 stuffed toys', 'For every fence that one puts, there are 15,00,000 Welcome mats', 'There are some ignoring the environment, but 30,00,000 trees are being planted every day', 'For every grown up who can't write, there are 15 kids who can read a fairy tale', 'LOVE has more hits than FEAR', 'While so many believe we are nearing the end, there are 50,00,000 people sending New Year wishes', 'While some fight over petty issues, millions share a Coca-Cola every day' are the messages flashed as the ad progresses, while the children's chorus continues the song on hope and aspiration in the background.

The film drapes contrasting images and weaves it around the jingle 'Umeed Wali Dhoop, Sunshine Wali Aasha'.

Speaking about the campaign, Anupama Ahluwalia, vice-president, marketing, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, says, "As we prepare to usher in another New Year, we thought of spreading good cheer. It is a perfect time to look ahead with a positive attitude. Our latest campaign captures the spirit of hope and optimism, further establishing the brand's philosophy by urging people to believe in a happier tomorrow."

Ahluwalia says that this is more than just a campaign for Coca-Cola. "We are confident that the new campaign will strike a chord of happiness with our consumers, and the chorus of happy children will warm the hearts and add to the spirit of positivity for the coming year," she adds.

Prasoon Joshi, executive chairperson and regional executive creative director, McCann Erickson India and South Asia has penned the lyrics of the jingle, while Bollywood music composer Shantanu Moitra has composed the music. The film is directed by Kaushik Sarkar, and produced by the production house Apostrophe.

As a strategy, FMCG giant Coca-Cola and its rival PepsiCo, design campaigns around the festive seasons to help drive large pack sales of their respective offerings. Most of the work is based on the spirit of festivity and is contextual.

Coke's campaign will be supported by social media, radio, and on-ground initiatives.

Open happiness

Coca-Cola rolled out its first global integrated marketing campaign 'Open Happiness' in India, in February, 2009. The campaign titled 'Milne Ka Adda', featured Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir as the protagonist. In the same year, Coca-Cola's long-time brand endorser Aamir Khan, brought 'Open' happiness for the brand.

Later, actor Imran Khan endorsed the fact that Coke opens up possibilities -- 'Coke khule toh baat chale'. This ad also featured actor Kalki Koelchin communicating with Khan through gestures over an invisible bottle of the soft drink.

Coca-Cola has also come up with several communications around Diwali and other festivals that speak about the joy of spreading happiness. This year, it spoke about how one's happiness multiplies when shared with others -- 'Khushiyan baatne se hi badhti hain'.

Happy or unhappy?

The advertising industry gives a thumbs up to the concept.

K V Sridhar (Pops), national creative director, Leo Burnett, considers the ad a noble attempt. "I like the timing and the intent of the TVC. It has come at a time when everything around us is so negative. The last couple of years have been very depressing. We have witnessed corruption, scandals, public displays of disgust and economic slowdown. Hence, we needed something that showed us a positive way out of this whole negativity."

Sridhar says that he enjoys the song, but did not like its execution. "The track is fantastic, but it does not give you goosebumps the way 'Humara Bajaj' or 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' did. You may want to listen to the song with eyes closed - it is really very well-written and beautifully composed." He is of the opinion that the visual depiction of the song is very poor.

Madhu Noorani, president, creative, Lowe Lintas, loves the spot. "I like the contrast of placing the negative v/s the positive, where the positive always outweighs the negative. This is something that appeals to us at a very fundamental level -- we have all been raised with stories in which good always wins over evil."

Noorani also admires the simplicity of using this insight as a New Year message. "There is truth in the fact that India is feeling optimistic, and that there is always more to look forward to than what has been left behind." She feels that the execution looks simple, almost home-made. "But, that is a part of the charm quotient of this ad," she says.

She feels that the ad could have been preachy and presumptuous, but it's not. "It's just facts, very simply told. Of course, it is only aimed at people who know how to read, pretty fast," she cheekily mentions.

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