In many markets around the world, Coke and Pepsi vie for leading market share in the carbonated soft drinks category. But this familiar head-to-head situation was not the case in India where Coke was fifth in its category behind key competitors, including Pepsi.
With more than 23% of the world's teenagers living in India it was important for Coca-Cola to reposition itself as the number one choice for teens consuming a carbonated drink. Research revealed that while most teens knew the Coke brand, almost a third had never tried Coca-Cola. Coke was faced with the challenge of introducing an entirely new generation of teenagers to Coca-Cola products.
Coca-Cola's brand equity has become a ubiquitous part of the social fabric of modern cultures. It has succeeded by uniquely entrenching itself in local cultures. In every market it operates, Coca-Cola is synonymous with fun and entertaining experiences. The brand's ambition in India was to create a unique Coke platform that would engage the hearts and minds of Indian youth and position Coca-Cola as their primary soft drink choice.
Teens across the world are driven by their passions which affect the way they interact with their friends, family and chosen brands. Coke's strategy was to tap into one of these passions and align Coca-Cola with something teens enjoy. But India is a challenging market; a brand that tries to talk to the whole country is faced with a market full of different religions and sub-cultures.
Coke decided to celebrate this fusion of cultures through music, as each India subculture could be identified by its own musical heritage. From cell phones to iPods, teenagers across India are constantly engaging with music and it was this passion for music that drove the central campaign idea.
The fusion of India's musical genres evolved into the concept of Coke Studio. Described as a "joyous fusion of musical passions," the idea was to bring together people from different musical backgrounds to create a new unique musical experience. Coca-Cola sought to combine the different musical genres of India to create an entertaining fusion of music that embraced the essence of India and would inspire the Indian youth audience.
Coke Studio came to life through the process of different artists coming together. A partnership with MTV, India's leading youth platform made it accessible to the target audience. The one hour episodes explored and celebrated the depth of musical diversity in India; from obscure indigenous folk music to mainstream popular tracks. Studio helped to spotlight less well-known artists alongside the more widely acclaimed and paid tribute to some of the most influential artistes that feature in India's musical legacy. Artists like the Wadali brothers, a popular Punjabi Folk and Sufi duo)collaborated with Mausam, an up and coming 20 year-old singer on a Punjabi song blended with Assamese folk - 'Kadiya Mileya'. The result was a union of music that symbolised the essence of India. Anticipation was built through social media channels and a sense of excitement amongst teens was created through supporting content in the form of behind-the-scenes and preview content featured on popular social media sites like Facebook.
Other channels used to engage the target youth audience included screenings of Coke Studio on Kingfisher Airlines on-board entertainment, live shows at the Hard Rock Café, FM radio and social media simulcasts of the show, coverage in The Times of India and supporting Coca-Cola branded BlueFi content.
The Coke Studio TV show reached 39.3 million viewers. In comparison, MTV Rock On garnered only 2.3 million viewers and VH1 Legends captured 0.78 million.
More than 4 Million radio listeners in 29 cities heard Coke Studio broadcasts.
Coca-Cola India recruited 566,485 Facebook fans.
The Coke Studio YouTube channel received one million views and 3,700 channel subscribers.
Cokestudioindia.com garnered 100,000 visitors in three weeks and Coke Studio content achieved more than 10 million mobile downloads thru BluFi.
4,000 people were engaged though concerts at Hard Rock Café across 10 cities.
This campaign won the 'Best Entertainment Platform' category 2011 Festival of Media Asia Awards.
Photoblog of the Coke Studio concert at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai
MTV India Coke Studio page