Benita Chacko

Thums Up marks first-ever Paralympic Games association with #TaanePalatDe

In the newly-released campaign film, we see the athletes wearing the ‘taunts’ they received every day from people on their T-shirts.

After its #PalatDe campaign celebrating real heroism at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Thums Up is now urging the paralympic athletes to #TaanePalatDe through its association with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. While Coca-Cola has an eight-decade association with the Olympic Games, this is the first time it is associating with the Paralympic Games. It claims to be the first FMCG brand to partner with the Paralympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo from August 24 to September 5.

In the newly-released campaign film, conceptualised by Ogilvy, we see the athletes wearing the ‘taunts’ they received every day from people on their T-shirts. Battling daily odds, the athletes are urged to prove their naysayers wrong with the tagline #TaanePalatDe. The video brings out the undying resilience of these athletes, and their strength to persevere in the face of challenges.

Thums Up will be unveiling a high decibel marketing campaign, including a series of videos and other related visuals for digital and social media, to keep the audiences connected with the Paralympic Games and the Indian athletes. The campaign will feature six athletes, including Mariyappan Thangavelu (High jump), Sakina Khatun (Powerlifting), Suyash Yadav (Swimming), Navdeep (Javelin throw), Sumit Antil (Javelin throw), and Avani Lekhara (Shooting).

Announcing the partnership, Arnab Roy, vice president and head - marketing, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said, “We are extremely proud of this strategic partnership with Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and the Paralympic Committee of India. It is our way of standing in solidarity and saluting the sheer grit and determination of these athletes, who have come from different walks of life, but showcase the same heroism against all odds and challenges. As an extension of the Olympic Association, we treat the Paralympians at parity with any other athlete fighting their naysayers and representing India at this global sporting event.”

Speaking on how the agency came up with the tagline, Sukesh Nayak, chief creative officer, Ogilvy India, said, “As a physically-challenged person trying to do something extraordinary, the kind of taunts that he or she faces, is something that we found as a common insight. So, being taunted for trying to achieve the impossible was something that was common across all of them. Our thought was because you believe in yourself, the naysayers don't have a chance to succeed. Hence, #PalatDe became #TaanePalatDe.”

It is a part of the brand’s shift in positioning from ‘machismo’ to ‘real heroism’. Through this partnership, Thums Up aims to encourage inclusion and salute the real heroes of Tokyo 2020, who continuously strive to break the glass ceiling, despite the challenges, and are now representing India at this prestigious global sporting event.

“We thought this was the next chapter of the journey where we associate with the Paralympics team. We basically want to stand with them, and their journey to come to this stage. And each story is extraordinary. Each one's grit and determination is exactly what the brand stands for,” said Nayak.

The soft drinks brand has always been known for its celebrity endorsements and its brand ambassadors’ heroic stunts, whether it was Salman Khan, Mahesh Babu or Ranveer Singh. But now, it is celebrating the Indian paralympic athletes, who have overcome several odds to reach where they are today.

The uplifting tone of the campaign reflects empathy and solidarity towards the athletes' struggles. However, it also marks a defined shift from its regular campaigns of action-packed scenes.

“The brand narrative is about heroism and heroic acts. The idea that Ogilvy put on the table is #PalatDe is the expression that anyone can speak. Every bottle is a form of expression for people today, where they can express themselves by just turning the bottle upside down. The ability to say thumbs down to something is a humongous idea. The logo itself is a huge power statement,” Nayak added.

Speaking about the partnership, Deepa Malik, Padma Shri Khel Ratna Arjuna awardee, the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games, and president - Paralympic Committee of India, said, “My journey of Ability Beyond Disability has been that of breaking stereotypes and myths around disability. The partnership with Thums Up is a step forward in that direction. This year, India is sending the largest-ever contingent to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and all 54 athletes have a unique story of resilience and defying all odds and social taboos.”

“I am very hopeful that we are going to create history this time. Brands like Thums Up are coming forward to provide a platform for our Paralympians to tell their stories, and provide the nation a chance to celebrate their journey and uplift their spirits. Thums Up is walking the talk by instilling values of diversity and inclusion through this association with our athletes, treating them at parity with the Olympians.”

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