The fizz is missing from the colas this summer. Those delightful, juvenile ad wars between arch rivals Pepsi and Coca-Cola are simply missing. Pepsi has been waging a one-sided battle, or so it appears to be.
Combatting Pepsi's two new commercials on air -- one featuring Shahrukh Khan-Saif Ali Khan-Preity Zinta, and the other where Shahrukh plays the role of an army jawan, Coke has so far reacted with 'Wakaw' - the retro commercial that launched the Vanilla flavoured Coca-Cola.
The total absence of the new Coca-Cola ads on the tube has led to speculations about Coke changing the much-hyped Thanda matlab.... campaign, and that Pepsi and Thums Up are giving Coca-Cola a run for its money as far as summer sales are concerned.
The cola giants' stand of being stubbornly tight-lipped about their sales figures are not helping matters either.
When Shripad Nadkarni, vice-president, marketing and head, new beverages, Coca-Cola, was quizzed to find out if the company intended to discontinue or change the popular Thanda matlab campaign, he gave out a laugh and said, " Mera bas chale toh I will run Thanda for the next 100 years. Thanda, after all, is a great property." (If I have my way, I will run Thanda for the next 100 years. Thanda, after all, is a great property).
He has a point when he adds that Coke is trying to make Thanda intrinsic to Coke. After all, even the advertising for Vanilla Coke says "Ice-creamy thanda..."
But, what's really important is the assurance from sources close to Coca-Cola that there is going to be a new commercial, rather another Aamir Khan-Thanda matlab ad. They, however, declined to spell out when is the new ad likely to hit the airwaves. "Sometime soon" -- is all they said.
Well then, if the Thanda matlab campaign is so hot, what stopped Coca-Cola from releasing a fresh campaign all this while? In any case, isn't the summer season on its last leg?
Sources at Coca-Cola have a ready answer for this. "Remember the Aamir Khan-Nepali ad set in a hill station? Well, that particular Thanda matlab campaign has flattened the season. So being absent in the summer does not mean that Coca-Cola has missed the bus. In fact, while Pepsi was busy with its twin TV commercials, we at Coke have been very aggressive with on-ground activities," a source explained.
Moreover, many feel that Coca-Cola has more than compensated for its absence with Vanilla Coke.
Some industry sources, in fact, reasoned that Vanilla Coke needed undivided attention - which is why Coca-Cola abstained from distracting consumers with advertising on the flagship brand.
The coming weeks will see Coca-Cola rerunning its earlier Thanda Matlab commercials. "The Aamir Khan-Thanda matlab campaign has done extremely well and is still popular. Moreover, it continues to strengthen the association of Coca-Cola with Thanda." © 2004 agencyfaqs!First Published : June 09, 2004