Shubhankar Sen

Coca-Cola India’s Pujo ad chronicles Kolkata's Pandal hopping and festive feasting culture

The ad portrays the festivities with a lively Bengali song, animated illustrations, lots of food, and Coca-Cola's subtle presence amid Pujo hopping.

With the echoes of Dhak drums soon to reverberate through the air, enveloped by the fragrance of incense mingling with the tantalising aroma of street food, Coca-Cola has unveiled an ad that mirrors the spirit of the forthcoming Pujo festivities.

Crafted by Ogilvy and Hungry Films and accompanied by the hashtag #RealMagicOfPujo, the ad goes beyond traditional narratives, offering an unfamiliar audio-visual experience that embraces the joyous Pujo culture within the Bengali community.

The caption for the ad on YouTube begins with, "Every year we hop across Pandals and different Pujos with a chilled bottle of Coke in our hand," illustrating the ad's intent to position Coke as an inseparable part of the festivities.

The ad features a lively Bengali song which captures the essence of the feelings and activities of people during Durga Pujo. The song's lyrics bear a resemblance to the humorous style found in some of Kishore Kumar's compositions.

The lyrics vividly describe the jolly vibe of the Pujo festivities, tracing the entire journey and capturing the spirit of people wandering through the night for Pandal hopping to seek blessings from the deity, particularly the younger crowd.

A challenge thrown to food enthusiasts, encouraging them to indulge and immerse themselves in the world of taste and flavour, adds an engaging element to the song.

Indulging and overeating become common practices during Pujo. The song and the visuals reference a variety of street foods such as chowmein, rolls, cutlets, treats, tarts, and sweets, and Coca-Cola prompts people to keep a bottle handy to refresh their stomachs and make merry with companions.

With the concluding lyrics of the song, "Mohabhoj, Coke er shaate roj"—translated as “Grand feast, Every day with Coke,” the ad encourages people to eat, drink, Pandal hop, and fully relish in the festive atmosphere during the celebrations.

Fine artist Joyeeta Bose's traditional illustrations steal the spotlight in the ad, depicting the entire journey of Pujo—from shopping and eating out to encountering the rhythmic beats of dhak music, visiting Pandals, and enjoying Pujo moments with companions.

The illustrations spring to life on a table adorned with street food and home-cooked dishes being served and relished, featuring cans and bottles of Coke, of course.

This interplay between animation and live action is effective, as the motions of the actual food on the table synchronise seamlessly with the movements depicted in the illustrations, creating a captivating storytelling experience.

Coca-Cola India’s Pujo ad chronicles Kolkata's Pandal hopping and festive feasting culture

The ad incorporates snippets of Pujo hopping, including a common announcement in Pandals, "All Pandal hoppers are requested to look after their own shoes and slippers," reflecting the chaotic yet endearing atmosphere of Pujo celebrations.

Another scene delineates the idea that a relationship flourishes when you share a Coca-Cola, portrayed through two characters enjoying a bottle with two straws.

Notably, the ad achieves this immersive portrayal of Pujo traditions without relying on any celebrity associations, a departure from the common practice among beverage brands in India, maintaining its focus on the authentic and relatable aspects of Durga Pujo festivities and allowing the genuine essence of the festival and the product to take centre stage.

While providing a snapshot of the annual Pujo experience in cities like Kolkata, the ad cleverly weaves together the elements of nostalgia, vibrancy, and flavours of Durga Pujo, building on the anticipation for the festival through both visual and auditory means, while aiming to promote Coca-Cola as an integral part of “The Real magic of Pujo” and embedding this association in the minds of viewers.

Have news to share? Write to us