Come summer and South India, with its soaring temperatures, becomes the hotspot for cold drink majors pitching for the larger share of the market. With the growing thirst come the time for mega promotions, skyrocketing ad budgets and, of course, the high value brand ambassadors.
Taking the case of Tamil Nadu alone, Coca-Cola India has roped in Tamil film actor Vijay as brand ambassador for brand Coca-Cola. The latest development has been confirmed by the company’s officials. Vijay’s mass appeal is perhaps one of the factors that would be the USP for popularising the brand among the young population of the state.
The recent shift of attention of major FMCG brands towards smaller towns is perhaps also one of the reasons where Vijay, with a considerable non-urban fan following, will come out as a big hit. A TVC, as part of Coca-Cola’s ‘Open Happiness’ campaign with Vijay, will take off at the end of this week. The actor has also been the brand ambassador for IPL team of Chennai Super Kings. With the IPL already becoming a sponsorship battleground for the cola majors, it is going to be all the more interesting to see how the season one brand ambassador of Chennai Super Kings fares with his new brand.
Meanwhile, also targeting the Tamil Nadu market, Pepsi has chalked out its plans to promote Mirinda. The company has planned to roll out two new TVCs with actress Asin of ‘Ghajini’ fame as brand ambassador. Pepsi is looking at a 360-degree campaign to promote Mirinda in Tamil Nadu.
In Andhra Pradesh, endorsing a cola brand has perhaps become a family affair for Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi. As a latest development, Pepsi has signed up Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan Teja, who is also a popular Telugu movie star, as its brand ambassador. Once again, improving local connect is one of the factors behind roping in Teja, who is believed to have a major fan following in the state. What is interesting is that Chiranjeevi had been the brand ambassador for rival brand Thums Up for a long time and was replaced recently by Mahesh Babu, another Telugu cine star. Before this, Chiranjeevi’s brother and nephew had been pitted against him as rival brand ambassadors.
With South Indian filmstars always considered larger-than-life, the cola rivalry over sponsorships and branding will also assume mega proportions. The growing power of the rural market alongside the urban markets is giving it a new direction in terms of brand ambassadors. The advent of the IPL Season 2 is making this cold (drink) war all the more hot and complicated and confusing.
Let’s drink to that!