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Thums Up: The real hero

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | August 19, 2015
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Moving away from its macho advertising tone, the brand has come up with a long format film to salute the real heroes of the nation on its 69th Independence Day.

Celebrating the Independence Day of the country is a thing of pride for all its citizens. And in the age of social media interaction, brands cannot be left far behind. This year too, many brands came forward to pay tributes to the heroes of India - be it the ones who fought for our Independence many years ago, or the ones who man the borders keeping up a ceaseless vigil.

Thums Up, the cola brand from beverage giant Coca Cola, has come up with a new digital film revolving around the travels of a man from the armed forces. The video is a tribute to the real hero - a soldier who guards the borders of the nation.

Thums Up's new campaign salutes the true hero

The video starts with an army man travelling from Kashmir to Rajasthan, taking all modes of local transport. On the way he converses with locals and becomes friends with few. However, the reason for his journey is revealed when he reaches a house in Warangal where he informs the aging parents of a fellow officer, about their son's death. He continues on his journey and reaches home, only to be called back to duty due to unforeseen circumstances.

Says Debabrata Mukherjee, VP - marketing & commercial, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, "Thums Up has always stood for strength and a spirit of inspiration. We believe that real heroes are the ones who have inner strength and compassion. This Independence Day, we wanted to celebrate the protectors of our independence, the 'True Heroes' of our nation. We wanted to salute the sons of the soil for their undying spirit and indefatigable courage.

The film has become quite popular on YouTube with over 700,000 views in the last three days, and 400,000 views on Facebook itself. However, what is surprising is the change of tone from regular Thums Up campaigns or ad films which are more action-oriented. The new film leans more towards storytelling.

Debabrata Mukherjee

Razneesh Ghai

According to Mukherjee, "Thums Up has always stood for strength and a spirit of inspiration. We believe that real heroes are the ones who have inner strength and compassion. This is a representation of the core philosophy of the brand and as an extension of this philosophy, this independence day, Thums Up celebrated the protectors of our independence, the 'True Heroes' of our nation. We wanted to salute the sons of the soil for their undying spirit and indefatigable courage."

"This was made with the aim of telling a story with the brand woven into it. While Thums Up ads would have the image and would probably show Salman Khan, here you see an everyday hero and his regular life. We presented a few creative ideas to the brand team and this got selected. We always knew we wanted to do something around a patriotic theme," explains Samir Bangara, co-founder and MD, Qyuki.com.

Samir Bangara

Qyuki Digital Media and Asylum Films conceptualized the video for Thums Up. The music has been created by Dhruv Dhanekar of Wah Wah Music. Director Razneesh Ghai(Razi) shared that the "hectic schedule of being on the road for 16 days straight and shooting for 6-7 days in that, was overshadowed by the joys of travelling through the length and breadth of the country. It is a road film and shows the human angle of a soldier's life. Coming from a army background, both Samir and I were keen on making this film."

Sabuj Sengupta

While long format films have been the raging trend in the ad world this year, can a brand like Thums Up manage to engage with its audience without the macho image? According to Sabuj Sengupta, executive creative director, Hakuhodo Percept, it is a well-shot film with a nice Independence Day connect. However, he feels that it could have been shorter.

"I think its quite a refreshing idea and execution. And I am sure we all had enough of macho men doing silly things to get their beverage.

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