Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cola Wars In India

For the Cricket World Cup 1996, Pepsi was not the official sponsor of the tournament, Coke was but Pepsi had a whole kitty of best players from the sub continent and abroad. The ad campaign of “Nothing Official About it rocked the country and knocked the wind from Coke’s Lungs. Possibly from this time onwards Coke also realized the value of celebrities in India and henceforth went ahead with that strategy.
Another consequence of this campaign was that from the next Cricket World Cup, advertisers began signing exclusive contracts which stipulated that competitors can’t have players who are in the tournament acting in their ads. And sadly for Coke, it was Pepsi which was “official” this time.
In 1998, the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai took the country by storm. Pepsi then took out another ace from its sleeve. This time SRK, Rani and Kajol starred in the ad. Also starring was the future star Shahid Kapoor who was noticed by the industry. The punchline this time was “Yeh Dil Maange More” which was an iconic line and struck a chord amongst the people.
The Coke people responded to this ad in a different and unique way. They actually spoofed the ad, the product used being Sprite, again to hilarious effect.
Pepsi responded with a spoof on it’s on its own, starring Azhar and Jadeja hitting on the Coke line of “Eat Cricket, Sleep Cricket, Drink Only Coca Cola” with the punch line of “More More Cricket, More More Pepsi”. Coke again hit back, this time with Thumbs Up ad. They portrayed the cricketers as monkeys and ended the ad with “Don’t be a bunder (monkey!!) Taste The Thunder!!” Things turned ugly with Pepsi going to court and finally ended with Coke withdrawing the ad.
The year 2000 heralded the rise of a new superstar, Hrithik Roshan. Both Coke and Pepsi rushed to sign him, but Coke won (possibly due to the fact that they promised that all the ads starring the superstar would be directed by his father). The first ads starring Hrithik Roshan were launched in Diwali Season. Pepsi hit back this time with a SRK ad which also had a Hrithik look alike. This ad was directed by Prahlaad Kakkar and was in a bad taste. Rumors ran about SRK’s insecurity and rest but the episode really was a footnote in the epic battle.
Around this time Coke’s market share surpassed Pepsi for the first time since Coke’s launch in 1994 (Trivia: Coke was first re-launched in India in Agra) and suddenly Coke was defending and Pepsi attacking the market share.
Now the wars shifted from cola to clear lime segment. Coke realizing that in India Thumbs Up was a valuable brand and it could not use it for opponent bashing. This time it was between Sprite and Pepsi’s Mountain Dew.
Pepsi had launched Dew with “Do the Dew” tagline emphasizing on Adventure sports. Sprite killed the ad with “Do The Do” ad which was funny and memorable.
The Cola Wars are here to stay. Its been just 10 odd years in India for them to start. In the USA they are on since a 100 years. The battle actually throws up some amazing ads and lets hope they continue.
Yeh Dil Maange More!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Hyundai Santro Launch Ad Campaign:

The year was 1998. The Indian market had been recently opened for car manufacturers. Lot of the biggies including GM and Ford had made a beeline with their models. So when a South Korean company announced that it too will be entering what analysts expected to be a hot spot people were, putting it mildly skeptical. So in January 1998 at the Auto Expo in New Delhi the Santro was launched. The car was not the highlight of the expo; it was Tata Indica which was destined to be in the limelight.
Some information about Santro first. Named and sold as Alto worldwide, it was a Class B car (in India, because of Maruti Suzuki 800 all the cars which are Class A worldwide are Class B here) and was mildly successful. Launching it was a gamble and all the car makers worldwide were going for Class C and D which had lower volumes but more profit margins and required less investment. But Hyundai was looking at India as an export base and keeping that in mind set up the factory in Tamil Nadu somewhere near Chennai.
The common man had heard about Ford, GM and Mercedes, but Hyundai? Naah! So first thing in Hyundai’s strategists’ mind was making people aware about this company. The company decided upon having Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) as the brand ambassador. The super star was a perfect choice.
The very first ad (the one I saw) of Hyundai Santro was screened somewhere in Feb 1998. The ad depicted a Korean executive going to SRK and asking him to endorse the car. SRK was naturally skeptical about endorsing the company and the executive smiles and produces a nut! He says that we at Hyundai make everything in the car right from the nut to engine and body.
This TV ad was supplemented with print ads showing SRK holding the nut and asking for people’s opinion that whether he should actually endorse the car or not? Naturally this campaign made the people aware about the company. People knew it was a South Korean company with a car to sell which was enough for a company with almost zero brand recall a few months back.
Then the big day came with the launch of Santro. In itself the car was superb, with Tall Boy design (first for India), elegant curves and an awesome engine, the car sales zoomed and Maruti’s Monopoly in the country was seriously challenged and Zen had a serious competitor.
The company’s initial advertisement campaign was a brilliant piece of work and set the tone for the rest of the advertisements.

New Series:-

From Now onwards I am going to write about my favorite advertisement campaigns. These campaigns have really influenced me as in really shown me how creative you can get. Also I will be writing about the ones which flopped.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The search for the answer:

Since the time of Isaac Newton, scientists have been looking for one thing- Theory of Everything, or TOE or GUT (Grand Unification Theory) they call it. Currently the Most Basic forces of nature are:
Gravitation Force
Electroweak Forces
Strong Force

Now the unification fails as soon as gravity comes into picture. Since it actually becomes effective when the masses are huge, the effect of the force becomes very weak as soon as we talk at microscopic level. The Universal Constant of Gravitation, G is so small (6.67 X 10-11) that it’s in fact absurd to think that gravity has any role to play when we talk about distances so small.

Quantum mechanics (which defines behavior of particles in microscopic world) and Gravitational Theory have always been at loggerheads. But when it comes of analysis of place where there is a huge mass concentrated at a point (case in point, center of black hole, universe at the time of big bag), we need a synergy between them.

Personally I feel there is something wrong in the whole Quantum Mechanics structure. This feeling is shared by many for the simple reason that results Quantum Mechanics throws up are so weird (that’s the only way to describe them!!) But I agree that’s how nature works. The essential problem lies in the fact that how this theory was developed. Unlike Einstein’s theory of Relativity (General theory described Gravitation) where the theory was given by pure genius and intuition (by no means I tend to disrespect the great Quantum Mechanics’ researchers) and then the results were confirmed, in Quantum Mechanics always we tended to see the results and fitted the theory to confirm the result. Now after 100 years of doing this the theory has described all possible permutations and hence all new results tend to fit the theory.

The big question is WHEN?? When will someone give us the answer?? I feel that the one who will do it won’t be a Doctorate or even have masters. He will be a young student of science who believes that this thing is wrong and has teachers who believe that they are teaching the wrong stuff. Too far fetched I am thinking!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Laboratory Journals : These things were used (are used infact) by researchers to keep their records of experiments and the results. but here in my bloody college we have to write the journals mostly copy them without any rhyme or reason. man life suck!!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Reservation and RDB

When i saw rang de basanti i really thought these guys were idiots coz they died as their friend's death was misrepresented. i really believed in DJs thought that their is nothing worth to die for. i cant belive these idiots are trying to spoil my life , yes MY life for some idiots' votes. hearing roobaroo i really can kill :) well not exactly i really believe Arjun Singh's life is in danger not from terrorists but from the average guy next door's gun.
God knows when will that bastard die but i hope its a really painful death!!

Friday, April 07, 2006


Once upon a time i used to see all the matches follow them like crazy and man was a cricket maniac, but now it doesn't make a difference who is playing and who is winningg. it seems strange coming from a person who used to wake up at 4 to see australia destroy zimbabwe at home.
why have i lost interest in this game?? am i the only one??
Also this reservation shit is stupid..... why do we ppl of general class be subjected to these stupid tortures while these sc/st/obc enjoy??? Mandal sucked and congress is the biggest leech on the country.
alking about leeches khandekar is also one of them..... gotta know he'll be teaching us again next semester....SHIT!!!!!!!
why does aphale get special treatment from the HOD??Why his stupid subject is being kept as elective and why no fiber optics?? I will talk to the HOD today.....Chaitrali mam is supportive but god knows how dat stupid HOD can be convinced. i think we can have reservations for the HOD's post. only mentally challenged and infinitelly stupid people who could not do anything should be allowed to become HODs coz here all of them already are!!