Coca-Cola is once again owning the advertising world with another brilliant TVC series, the first of which features Ayesha Linnea and Sikandar Rizvi, while the second features Shaz Khaan and none other than Maya Ali. But what’s TRULY interesting about this campaign is that Coca-Cola has completely changed the competitive context of the soft drink industry by taking on the adjacent and massive Chai market. It will be extremely interesting to see how successful they are at at changing such a long standing and culturally entrenched consumer habit.
Few people know that Chai is not actually indigenous to the sub-continent, but is in fact a part of our colonial heritage. And over the decades, the big tea brands have developed a perception that Chai is part of our local heritage and culture. So much so that hard loyalist tea aficionados are actually taking mild offense at Coca-Cola’s campaign – which is HARDLY negative, but rather a bold shift in the brand strategy.
Even fewer people yet, know that Coca-Cola actually has a strong overlap with Tea, in the sense that it also energizes you and refreshes you when you take a break. In fact, Coca-Cola marketed itself as a pause that refreshes for years in the early 20th century. So presenting Coca-Cola as a substitute for drink Chai is not that strange after all!
But coming back to the TVC, not only has Coca-Cola redefined its marketing strategy, but it has done so with significant aplomb. Ayesha and Sikandar look absolutely stunning, the music is loungy and cool, and the direction flawless. Without saying a single word, it conveys the message that has become talk of the town not only for the beverage industry, but even non-beverage brands are jumping on the Zalima bandwagon! Then there’s the more traditional Shaz Khan and Maya Ali TVC, where the bride and groom are exhausted from our never ending list of wedding traditions only to be offered a hot cup of chai. However, the couple clearly prefer the refreshment of Coca-Cola over chai, as Shaz say’s to the grandmother calling the shots “Zalima, Coca-Cola Pila De” in a laugh out loud moment. On a side note, Maya Ali makes the most stunning, beautiful bride we have seen in ages.
We for one can’t wait to see what’s next in this campaign, and how it plays out in the industry. How rare is it for any brand to create this much buzz with a single campaign?