afaqs!

Coca-Cola: Crazy act

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 14, 2013
Coke's new campaign propagates spreading happiness and kindness through crazy, impulsive actions. The film is inspired by true incidences.

For quite a while, Coca-Cola has tried to make emotional connect with its target audience by taking over the premise of 'Happiness'. After urging happiness around mealtimes with the family through 'Saath khao, khushiyaan badhao', its new campaign, 'Crazy for happiness', strings together stories of people involved in random acts of kindness.

A screenshot from the new Coca-Cola TVC

The film begins with a girl on a bicycle who does a high five on the raised hands of strangers hailing a taxi. Likewise, a tired Santa finds a bottle of Coke left to refresh him, a diner offers a Coke to the doorman while leaving the restaurant and a young man feeds stray dogs to show atypical takes on spreading happiness. Towards the end, a super asks, 'Are you crazy enough to make the world happier?'

In fact, the stories are inspired by real life incidences, and the protagonists play themselves. What's more, the ad's catchy, foot-tapping jingle 'Haan mein crazy hoon' (Yes, I am crazy), professes these do-gooders as crazy people and is directed by Amit Trivedi. The campaign's punch line is 'Khushiyaan lutao, crazy kehlao'.

Anupama Ahluwalia

Prasoon Joshi

Conceptualised by McCann Erickson, the campaign, which will run till early February, is scripted by Prasoon Joshi and the creative team.

The TVC is directed by Shujaat Saudagar of Boot Polissh Films and has been shot in Mumbai and Delhi. According to the creative team, extensive research was carried out over three months to collect a bank of stories about do-gooders in the community. For this, social networking sites and the digital platform was used. From these, the agency collated a few that were light-hearted acts and brought smiles on people's faces. The campaign, celebrates these acts.

Explaining the insight behind the campaign, Anupama Ahluwalia, vice-president, marketing, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, says, "We have become insular and self-focused today. The 'I' tends to stop caring for the 'WE'. Being kind to a stranger is often considered 'crazy'. When you do something good for others, it inevitably results in happiness. So, be a little crazy and open happiness."

Prasoon Joshi, CEO and chief creative officer, McCann World Group India, says that as in the earlier TVC for Coke - released around Diwali - this one too is about people coming together. That, however, was about a family getting together and this is captures the interaction between strangers. Says Joshi, "You feel hopeful for the country because the young generation today is much more open to doing something for others. At a time when we don't even know who our neighbours are, young people are looking at life beyond themselves."

The campaign was launched on radio, where the Coke studio team comprising musicians Shankar Ehsan Loy, Clinton Cerejo, Papon and Hitesh Sonik composed and sang their own versions of the jingle. Following this teaser, which was intended to create buzz around happiness and craziness, the campaign was launched on TV. Currently, it is being aired in Hindi, Kannada and Tamil.

Kapil Tammal

Dheeraj Sinha

Cracked it?

Although the commercial is bang on the happiness factor that Coke has been riding on, the execution of the theme could have been better, feels Kapil Tammal, executive creative director, Scarecrow Communications. "The visuals of the ad are generic and subtle considering it's based on acts of craziness. It could have been edgier and slightly crazier. And, because of that, the recall value may not be as much. However, the jingle is memorable," he opines.

Dheeraj Sinha, head, planning, South and Southeast Asia, Grey, found it a nice feel good campaign and is in line with the global platform of Coca-Cola built around happiness. "While both campaigns (referring to the previous one) revolve around the idea of happiness, I found the insight and the idea of bringing the fractured families together more powerful. It leveraged an insight, which is very true of India, as well. However, the idea of doing something for a stranger, though in line with the current global sentiment, is not one of the biggest motivations in India, at this point in time," he argues. Sinha, however, liked the look and feel of the ad.

On the digital platform, web pages have been created around a 'Random acts of kindness' wall, where people can share their experiences or anecdotes. Coke also plans to extend the campaign through on-ground and retail activities.

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