Pushkar Chaudhary - Area Marketing Manager and Mohammed Akeel - Area General Manager, Coca Cola India, spoke to Chennaibest.com about Vijay, the new brand ambassador of Coca Cola, about Coke's marketing strategy, which is, “Think local and Act Local” and about the soft drinks market in Tamil Nadu.Could you elaborate on your brand endorsement deal with Vijay?
In Tamil Nadu, we have always believed that movies and music have a large following. The trend is similar, throughout the country, but accentuated more in Tamil Nadu. Teenagers seem to follow movies, music and of course the movie stars. The obvious indicators being the kind of fan clubs most movie stars have. If you take the case of Vijay, when we finished the ad, many of his fan clubs came and took his 'Coke posters' to be displayed at vantage places in and around theatres screening his recent movie ‘Badri’.
We wanted to capitalise on this, and use it as part of our marketing strategy. We have done this successfully. For example, we tried it last year with a Vijay starrer ‘Priyamanavale’ and we did a set of activities centred on ‘Priyamanavale’, which were received very well. We have also used stars nationally Hrithik, Aamir and Aishwarya and it worked well for us and we thought why not Vijay, who is one of the top stars in Tamil Nadu, to endorse our brand. That is why we tied up with him. It did not happen immediately. He took some time to think it over since this was the first time he was going to endorse a product.
To my mind we will do well as the first commercial has already come and the ‘gaana’ song seems to be on every youngster’s lips within just a few days itself.How different is your strategy for Tamil Nadu from the national strategy?
It is very different. There is nothing, which is national, which we roll out in Tamil Nadu or Kerala. For example there is a promotion going on in the North which will start soon, it will not be implemented in Tamil Nadu or Kerala where we will have our own promotions. In fact the Coca Cola promotion has already started in Tamil Nadu with the Vijay starrer Badri.