Suraj Ramnath

Thums Up: Introducing the 'Toofani' Good Samaritan

The cola brand retains its adventurous, macho stance, but adds a heart of gold to the mix. A look at the new spot.

What comes to mind when you think of Thums Up? Probably the brand's ex ambassador Salman Khan and the tag lines 'Aaj Kuch Toofani Karte Hain' and 'Taste The Thunder'.

This time, last year, the cola brand had launched a TVC, starring Salman Khan with the tagline, 'Main Hoon Toofani'. This year going ahead with the same tagline, the cola brand has recently released its new TV campaign, 'Yeh Toofani Hota Kaun Hai?' with Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh as its new brand ambassador.

Thums Up: Introducing the 'Toofani' Good Samaritan
In most of the previous commercials, Salman Khan would do some sort of daredevilry or 'toofani' stunts to get to his bottle of Thums Up. However, in this new TVC, Singh performs extreme stunts to save children from a school bus that's lost control and is about to tip off the edge of a cliff.
Thums Up: Introducing the 'Toofani' Good Samaritan
Talking about the shift from being a Toofani guy to a Toofani guy with a heart, Sachin Das Burma, national creative director, Leo Burnett, says, "Strategy-wise, we are defining 'Main Hoon Toofani'. 'Toofani' doesn't only mean picking up a bottle of Thums Up but doing something that makes people say, 'Yes, that's Toofani!'. Else youngsters will do anything and call it toofani; we don't want to say that. We want to say that when anybody stands up for something good and fights for something good that is Toofani. So this is just the beginning, we will keep defining what being Toofani means."
Thums Up: Introducing the 'Toofani' Good Samaritan
In this ad, Singh being Toofani is being shown as a social cause. So we asked Burma if that aspect will be covered every time a new Thums Up ad is launched.

He says, "Being Toofani will not necessarily come with a social cause but something that will make a guy a hero. For example, if there is a football match and a player is going to take a penalty shot, there is too much of pressure and the only guy who comes forward in such conditions is a Toofani guy."

Salman Khan has been associated with the cola brand for a very long time and with Ranveer Singh taking that spot with the new definition of 'Toofani' we asked Burma if there is a risk involved in it.

He says, "Anything you try for the first time is called a risk. We wanted to talk to the youngsters who are taking risks and who think taking a risk is fine. It was about - let's try something new. So we had to define that. A Toofani guy knows it is not a risk for him if he is going to win and he knows that he has it in him."

He adds, "Of course Salman has a big fan following and a lot of years attached to him but that happens with all brands. Once you change the celebrity, somewhere there is a risk but people are going to love Ranveer so much because he is a Thums Up kind of a guy who tries new things, all his films are different and he is self-made guy with no Bollywood connections behind him. He stood up and now is successful, which is as good as a Thums Up guy. Ranveer reflects machismo completely now so hopefully he will be the face of Thums Up as long as Salman was."

Toofani or not so Toofani move by Thums Up?

Thums Up: Introducing the 'Toofani' Good Samaritan
Thums Up: Introducing the 'Toofani' Good Samaritan
According to Jaideep Mahajan, national creative head, Rediffusion-Y&R, Singh is no match to Khan. "Ranveer Singh is a very popular face amongst the youngsters. But he is definitely not Salman. The strategy is fine however, the take is clichéd. Even the execution is a bad copy of a lot of what we have already seen in Bollywood. Not Toofani for me." He says.

Pooja Rawat, vice-president, Lowe Lintas, says, "For the longest time, Thums Up communication has been about the bravado of the celebrity to get hold of a bottle of Thums Up, and a 'toofani' stunt is a part of his journey. The new ad is clearly different, and not just by way of celebrity but also in terms of the effort taken to consciously expand the territory of the brand. The communication is no longer about 'will brave all odds for Thums Up' but instead about defining a 'toofani' man but then giving him, in my opinion, quite a different persona from the Thums Up man we've got to know - one who is rebellious, macho, impulsive and to whom nothing matters more than that bottle of Thums Up. This new Thums Up man is a man with a bigger purpose than a bottle of Thums Up. He is not rebellious without reason but uses his stunt potential to save the world. That isn't exactly a new thought and seems to me like an over-stretched connect with the brand."

She adds, "With regards to celebrity, Thums Up has usually chosen those who are quasi-stunt men. The decision to choose Ranveer means that the brand inherits a huge young fan following which is clearly good for the brand. However, Singh is usually associated with quirk and humour, but by using him differently, the brand could get not just a fan following but also good cut-through."

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