Ubaid Zargar
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Pepsi unveils new anthem; celebrates being single by choice

Valentine's Day is around the corner and Pepsi has unveiled a new anthem addressing those amongst the audience who are 'single by choice'. The music video features Salman Khan and is in continuation of the brand's previously launched campaign #HarGhoontMaiSwag. Here is an overview.

Ahead of Valentine's Day, Pepsi India has launched a new anthem titled 'Swag Se Solo'. In continuation of the brand's #HarGhoontMaiSwag campaign, the new anthem rides on a communication addressing the youth of India who are single by choice.

Featuring Hindi actor Salman Khan, the music video sees the popular Bollywood bachelor dance to a dedicated song. The anthem has been composed by Tanishq Bagchi and the dance sequence has been choreographed by Remo D'Souza (who also makes an appearance at the end of the ballad).

The anthem is an extension of a previously launched campaign titled #HarGhoontMaiSwag. The prequel saw Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani in a dance-off to a swag-driven anthem that carried a different interpretation of Pepsi’s ‘swag’ in contrast to the latest edition. The song was produced in association with T-Series.

As the brand has revealed, the campaign is built upon consumer insights that at least seven out of 10 Indian men in the age group of 15-30 years are single. Add to this, the growing trend of Gen Z preferring to be self-partnered. The anthem therefore, celebrates this spirit of individuality and self reliance, all the while taking a sly dig at people in committed relationships who have issues of their own.

Speaking on the launch of the anthem, a PepsiCo India spokesperson said, “Pepsi’s Swag movement continues in 2020 with the launch of the Swag Se Solo anthem. Given the popularity that we witnessed with our last anthem, we felt music was the best way to engage with the nation. Through this single, we are excited to bring a unique twist to what is traditionally seen as a week of celebrating couples. We want to rejoice the youth of today with music and urge all those who are single to embrace their relationship status with self-confidence, unshakeable self-belief and irrefutable Swag. With an icon such as Salman Khan grooving to the tunes of Swag Se Solo, we are confident that the whole country will be dancing to the beats of the anthem.”

Brand ambassador and actor Salman Khan said, “I have a good feeling about Swag Se Solo, given the anthem is relatable to me, and to the generation of today, which is extremely confident, has the right attitude and doesn’t shy away from being who they really are. We had fun shooting this song and I am happy to be associated with Pepsi, a brand that focuses on the youth.”

Released on February 10 in association with T-Series, 'Swag Se Solo' can be heard across the social media handles of both Pepsi and T-Series. It is also available for streaming on Gaana.

Expert Review:

Speaking on the appeal of the anthem, Vishal Mittal, group creative director, Dentsu One, says, "It's not the most catchy or sticky anthem. But it's not bad either."

Vishal Mittal
Vishal Mittal

He adds, "Swag se Solo as a proposition fits pretty well with Salman Khan, whose bachelorhood has been a topic of discussion and interest since decades."

We wondered if choosing Salman Khan as its face to appease Indian youth would work. Mittal opines, "I don't think there's anything wrong in taking Salman Khan, even though he might be over 50. He connects and appeals to a huge population of youth, especially in the small towns. They all worship him."

Commenting on the timeliness of the anthem, in that it has been released around Valentine's Day, Mittal says, "Is it deliberate that they are releasing this on Valentine's day or is it just a coincidence? I don't know. Although it might not be the most ideal scenario, it can be taken as an interesting take, an interesting contrast too."

Prakhar Deogirikar, executive creative director, WYP

Pepsi unveils new anthem; celebrates being single by choice

The thought is nice. The connect is nice. Being single and owning it, in context to a day that ostentatiously celebrates couples, is a brilliant move. The song/anthem is also nice, has some stickiness while remaining within the codes that the brand has been developing for the last few years.

While I like the effort and the timing of the film, when it comes to Salman Khan, my opinion somehow nosedives. I think doing what they were doing with Tiger and Disha was good for the brand. It went with the whole young, fresh and happening vibe that the brand wants. Not that I am completely opposed to an older celeb being used for a young brand. But then the idea should be something that goes with that choice. The only connect here is the conversation about Salman Khan's love life that is five to seven years old.