Anushree Bhattacharyya

Coca-Cola: Meal of happiness

The new campaign, which is based on the theme 'Saath khao, khushiyaan badhao', seeks to reignite the magic around mealtimes by celebrating happiness around the dining table. Interestingly, it also marks the return of McCann Erickson.

Traditionally, the 'dining table' has played a pivotal role in every family, with all the family members sitting at it together to eat, discuss, debate and enjoy. However, with the advent of the 21st century, the 'dining table' lost out to other needs and preferences, such as the mobile phone, television screen or the internet. Coca-Cola India's new campaign, 'Coke and meals', revives and reinstates the glory of the dining table, along with the long-forgotten and lost moments of sharing and togetherness.

Coca-Cola: Meal of happiness
Based on the theme 'Saath khao, khushiyaan badhao', the campaign seeks to reignite the magic around mealtimes by celebrating happiness around the dining table.

Conceptualised by McCann Erickson (the agency returns to work on Coke after Lowe Lintas & Partners' summer campaign for the brand earlier this year), the television commercial (TVC) shows how Coca-Cola plays a role in bringing together various members of a family at the meal and spreads happiness. Various examples of several families are shown eating at the dining table and enjoying diverse conversations with a glass of Coke. The campaign ends with a voiceover that says, 'Saath khao, khushiyaan badhao.'

While Ram Madhvani of Equinox films has directed the film, the music score is by Bollywood composer Shantanu Moitra.

Coca-Cola: Meal of happiness
Coca-Cola: Meal of happiness
Speaking about the campaign, Anupama Ahluwalia, vice-president, marketing, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, says, "Today's fast lives are stealing away what could be moments of bonding and togetherness; through the 'Coca-Cola and meals campaign' we are urging consumers to bring togetherness to the meal occasion, which seems to be fast disappearing due to modern day pressures."

Prasoon Joshi, chairman and chief creative officer, McCann Worldgroup India and president, South Asia, explains, "Basically Coke and food has had a great association for decades. So this time we thought of weaving a story around this association. Also, Coca-Cola for a while has been following the mantra of 'Open happiness' through various campaigns. Therefore, we thought of propagating the role of Coke and how it spreads happiness in a modern family."

"We noticed that in today's world, everyone has become so very busy that no one has time for anybody. Interestingly, meal time is such a time which brings everybody together. So we thought of making the dining table sanctity for everyone to come together," adds Joshi.

To further promote the thought, 'Saath khao, khushiyaan badhao', Coca-Cola India has tied up with popular celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor for an on-ground activation. As part of the activation, Kapoor will invite recipes from consumers and after going through a process of selection, nine winners will get a chance to be part of a television show with Kapoor. In addition, there will be various promotions in the modern trade channels, which will involve Kapoor and his chefs in a live cooking session in three cities.

Coca-Cola will also roll out a campus programme based on the premise, 'Happiness strikes where you'd least expect it'. The activation will have moms paying a surprise visit to certain campuses and cooking for students. Next, the company plans to capture 'fun' and 'togetherness' moments experienced by consumers at restaurants (TGIP), introducing a 'Happiness camera' to click photos of people sharing a meal with their family and loved ones, further encouraging consumers to eat together and increase happiness.

The on-ground initiatives will be supported by a digital campaign.

A joyful return

The commercial gets thumbs up from advertising professionals who feel that a simple brand promise has been shown with a simple and real-life insight.

Coca-Cola: Meal of happiness
Coca-Cola: Meal of happiness
Chraneeta Mann, executive creative director and national creative head, special projects, Rediffusion-Y&R, says, "Last year, Coke's Diwali campaign took celebrations out of home by urging one to include all those people who had added to their happiness at some point in life. What it does interestingly this year is to bring back the same thought of 'happiness best celebrated together' inside the four walls and connects it with a new reality today - a reality where a dining table lies forgotten in a battle lost to cell phones, television and PSP gamers."

"The eminently hummable track urges families to reconnect and bring the laughter and joy of simple mealtime conversations back. All in all, the commercial is a tribute to the dining table the younger generation almost forgot. And a rather nice space to own in the festive season," she adds.

"After a long while, Coke seems to have found its groove back. It's a simple promise, a simple premise that leaves you with a very happy feeling. For a brand that is built on happiness as an emotion, it's almost perfect in its imagery. The casting, the setting, the use of music - all are very real and the use of the dining table where the celebration normally happens is really insightful. It's good that the commercial does not come across as too 'addy' .The real people flavour is happiness-inducing," remarks Naresh Gupta, managing partner, Bang in the Middle.

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