The Coke Story• It was on May 8, 1886 that Dr. John Pemberton mixed the magic portion of coca cola syrup to carbonated water and sold it for five cents a glass. Pemberton had no clue of what was to become of this fluid he formulated.• Today coco cola’s logo is one of the most recognized trademarks in the world, spread across 200 countries it is the largest producer of non-alcohol carbonized drinks and known for its marketing tactics.
The Entry & the Exit…• Like most companies in search of untapped markets, Coca Cola Company, Atlanta had a hawk’s eye on India.• The company first made its entry into the Indian market in the year 1956 and made a good fortune.• The Indian economy was increasingly regulated and many industries were restricted to the public sector, this movement reached its peak in 1977 and the Coca Cola Company had to exit the Indian Markets.
The Rebirth• Coca Cola has re-entered India in 1993, giving its competitor Pepsi Co a huge four year heads up into the Indian market which used this opportunity to capture much of the Indian consumer’s imagination.• Hence these two companies choose their fatal weapons of advertising which has a huge role to play in consumers picking up one over the other.
The Marketing Strategy• During this period the company’s marketing department focused on jingles, celebrity endorsements and tag lines to reach out to consumers.• Tag lines like “Always the real thing”, “Pee le coca cola”, “Thande ka Tadka”, “Jo chahe ho jye..Coca Cola enjoy” backed by celebrities like Karishma Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Amir Khan and Aishwarya Rai had done the trick for the carbonated drink manufacturer.
The Next Decade• Since 1993-2003, Coca Cola had invested a whooping amount of US$ 1 billion in India, making it one of biggest foreign investor in the country.• In 2003 Coca Cola was ranked the # 1 brand in the world and estimated its brand value at $70.45 billion.
It believed in a brand positioning strategy called as the 3 A’sAvailabilityAffordabilityAcceptability
The Challenge• Reaching to the masses and increasing the per capita consumption of cola in the massive landscape of India was the challenge for coke during this point of time.• The rural market of India represented a major opportunity (96% of Indian population) for market penetration and a battleground for market dominance.• Hence,coke came up with 200ml bottles priced at Rs.5 only.
‘Thanda matlub coca-cola’• Coke had to sketch a unique ad campaign to penetrate into the remotest places of India, this is when the “Thanda Matlub Coca Cola” happened and took the company one notch level up in terms of the connect with the masses of India.• This campaign featured actor Amir Khan playing regional roles and helped coke to strengthen its brand equity.
Hitch In the Journey• On 5 August 2003, the center for science and environment (CSE) issued a report stating “12 major brands of cold drinks sold in and around Delhi contain a deadly cocktail of pesticides residues”.
Damage Control• The company acted immediately by designing a new advertising strategy that included “safety guaranteed” stickers, news paper ads, public tour of Coca Cola plants and the Pesticide controversy campaign featuring Amir Khan to regain its lost trust of the people from the cold drink.
3 New P’s of Coke• The company had to redesign strategies to heel from the damage caused due to the controversies of 2003-2006. The new brand development strategy stressed on the so called 3 P’s:• Price value• Preference• “Pervasive penetration”
Open Happiness• Since 2009 Coca Cola Company has been running the “Open happiness” campaign worldwide, which was adapted by the Indian Market as well.• This was the first time that the company adapted a global campaign unlike the traditional tailor made local advertising.• This campaign featured Imran Khan who has been a part of the Indian execution; however he was not able to recreate the magic that his uncle Amir had accomplished for the company in 2003.
Back with a Bang…• Towards the end of the year 2011, there were a lot of talks regarding the world coming to an end on 2012 Dec 21st all around the world due to some predictions.• This time coke capitalised the movement towards a positive note and came up with the campaign- ‘umeedo wali dhoop’, believe in a happier tomorrow which became an instant hit among the masses and hit popularity in India.