Coca-Cola India has awarded the advertising account of its proposed tea and coffee brands to Leo Burnett, Mumbai. "This is an absolutely new category we are planning to tap. We have to develop everything - the brands, the positioning and the marketing strategy - from scratch. Since we have no prior experience in these categories, we have inducted the advertising agency at the very inception of the project. The agency will assist us through the entire process - from conceptualisation to the launch and beyond," Shripad Nadkarni, vice-president (marketing), Coca-Cola India, told agencyfaqs!.
Nadkarni declined to comment further on this new project pleading, "it is too early". Leo Burnett was equally reticent. While deputy managing director Rahul Kansal confirmed his agency has been assigned Coca-Cola's tea/coffee account, he refused to talk about the specific brands, positioning or the advertising budget since "things were still at a conceptualisation stage". What is certain, however, is that a formal agency pitch did not precede the move.
This launch is in line with Coke's strategy to expand its product range beyond carbonated soft drinks. The company's decision to look beyond the 160 million youth base in India follows a nationwide survey conducted recently. It seems the survey indicated 80 per cent of the Indian population prefers to drink tea and coffee throughout the day. While 20 per cent have a liking for pure milk products such as lassi, only 2 per cent of those covered by the survey consumed carbonated drinks - the product Coca-Cola currently offers.
Enter tea and coffee. While official confirmation on this was unavailable, information available with agencyfaqs! seems to indicate Coca-Cola is looking at ready-to-drink tea and coffee available from the vending machine and not a powder/packed product. The company is exploring the possibility of bringing into India some of its tea/coffee brands selling in other countries. These include Koo (tea brand, selling in Japan) and Georgia (for tea and coffee both). The launch is slated for 2002-end or beginning of 2003. The price would be Rs 4-5 per cup.
Alongside, the company plans to introduce a coconut-flavoured drink in Kerala as part of its strategy to promote region/community targeted flavoured drinks. The drink will be priced at Rs 10 for a 300-ml bottle. The launch of this coconut-flavoured drink will be preceded by the introduction of a black currant flavoured drink in Tamil Nadu. Portello, as this brand is called, is likely to be priced at Rs 10 for a 300-ml bottle and has been lined up for an early 2002 launch.
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