As the cola wars hot up the consumers
are going into a fizzy tizzy, writes Martin D’Souza
The Cola war is generating more
heat than fizz. It’s becoming bold, brash and, of course,
there’s a lot of monkeying around. All this on the electronic
medium using sports, where cricket is supposed to carry the message
far and wide. A nice platform for the two cola giants to get even
with each other and settle scores off the field.
Their sparring had first begun during the World Cup jointly hosted
by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1996. Many believed it was
just a one-off battle to coincide with the mega event. But that
was just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Today, if one sits
to watch a ‘live’ coverage the cola battle flashes
across with alarming alacrity. No commercial break is complete
without the sparring-ads doing the rounds. What is the ultimate
aim of the involved companies, one begins to wonder. Certainly,
one has had enough of this childish display of creative emotional
Coca Cola have this famous slogan... "Eat cricket, sleep
cricket, drink only Coca Cola." Pepsi, cleverly released
an ad, obviously hitting out at Coke in a big way, with a little
help from the Indian skipper, Mohammed Azharuddin, and Ajay Jadeja.
The voice-over yells EAT; Azhar bites a chunk off the bat while
Jadeja chews on a pad. SLEEP, the voice yells again. Both cricketers
sleep on their respective gear. DRINK, the voice hollers once
again. Red plastic cups slide up to the two cricketers. (Who those
red cups belong to everyone knows, but there is no logo, you see.
Smart guys). "Naah," say the two cricketers in unison
and instead opt for a Pepsi.
The Yankees may be crankies, but dumb they are not. They immediately
hit back at Pepsi in a novel way. They have two monkeys doing
the same thing that Azhar and Jadeja do but the line goes, `Don't
be a bunder, taste the Thunder. This is to promote Thums Up, their
other product. In effect, they are
killing two birds with one stone... getting even with Pepsi for
their dig at Coke and making monkeys out of them while promoting
Another ad that takes a dig at Pepsi is when another bunder lifts
a blue crate with bottles with no brand name (obviously you know
who it belongs to) and the same bunder line is repeated.
Now who are the monkeys? We, the innocent on-lookers in this corporate
tamasha, Azhar, Jadeja or the cola companies? Should
we taste the thunder, have more Pepsi, gulp Coke or switch to
some other soft drink and let the cola wars continue.
Will this battle ever end? Going by the way things are hotting
up, looks like it's gonna be one long innings. Someone should
step in and diplomatically stop the cola wars. On second thoughts,
why be a spoilsport. Let the fun flow. Like
they say, it tastes good till the fizz lasts.