Fanta goes Play with digital graphic novel

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 12, 2013
The campaign is launched with a vision to bring 'Play' back into the lives of consumers.

Fanta, the fruit-flavoured carbonated soft drink from The Coca-Cola Company, has launched an interactive graphic novel featuring the animated Fanta crew that appears in the brand's television commercials. Called the Play Fanta franchise, the characters connect with the core consumer base of teens through the graphic novel's digital storytelling on The novel also features games moulded to fit the story.

The Fanta graphic novel

The PlayFanta campaign is being rolled out in more than 190 markets globally this year. Ogilvy & Mather New York was tasked by Fanta to lead the PlayFanta creative vision and turn the 3D Fanta world and its well-loved characters into a global franchise.

Fanta is also looking at attracting teens from popular social hangouts, portals and their preferred engagement platforms on social media, such as Facebook and YouTube. PlayFanta was released in India on April 29, parallel to its global release. The initiative has also been released on Fanta's Facebook page and via apps available across all app stores. Besides, TVCs and an online video will also be used to promote the graphic novel and the campaign.

The graphic novel titled 'Saving the Source' has the characters Todd, Tristan, Andy, Floyd, Lola, Maude, Gigi and the Lhava Twins as they set out on a journey to find and fix the source of Play in their town, after it mysteriously disappears one day, turning the community into sad, grey characters known as the 'Playless'.

Anupama Ahluwalia

Speaking on the initiative, Anupama Ahluwalia, vice-president, marketing, Coca-Cola India, says, "PlayFanta is a very dynamic concept with embedded layers of storytelling and adventure that we believe will appeal to our teen demographic across the spectrum. The narrative tells a universal story with elements that the Indian youth will also identify with, and coupled with state of the art technology, this will surely be one of our most exciting initiatives."

The novel was developed by Hollywood scriptwriting studio The Alchemists, with animation by Psyop. According to Marianne Pizzi, executive group director, Ogilvy & Mather, the brief was to create a platform where every piece of the communication was playable. It could have been anything -- a film, too -- but for the sake of interactivity, it was turned into a nine-chapter graphic novel with hidden games and elements.

This is the second time that Fanta is taking its TVC crew out of the TV in India. In 2011, Fanta's television commercial was taken outdoors by creative agency Encyclomedia Networks with a building wrap innovation in Chennai that featured Fanta's characters -- better known as the 'Fanta Crew'. Five surfaces of the commercial office building, Ameer Plaza in Nungambakkam, Chennai, were wrapped up in such a way with 3D creatives that a bright orange visual story continued across all of them.

In the same year, Fanta decided to use the occasion of Holi as it launched the 'Fanta - Funmasters Hunt', a consumer engagement initiative, which was rolled out in over 60 cities across 13 states in the country. Consumers got to win cash prizes worth Rs 4,999 every day, and a grand cash prize worth Rs 5 lakh was awarded for presenting ideas on how to have fun and be less serious.

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