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BY Anjana Naskar

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After the #PalatDe campaign at the recent Tokyo Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company’s home-grown brand – Thums Up has now rolled out another campaign for the Tokyo Paralympic Games. At the virtual unveiling of the campaign film, Arnab Roy, Vice President and Head-Marketing, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia discussed the objectives and insights behind the latest campaign and its focus on inclusivity

Earlier last week, The Coca-Cola Company’s home-grown brand – Thums Up announced its partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The brand launched a special campaign to mark this partnership, while also underlining its focus on becoming more inclusive. This partnership comes right after the recently launched #PalatDe campaign for the Tokyo Olympics in July. The brand becomes the first in the FMCG space to partner with the Paralympic Games. Speaking at the virtual unveiling of the campaign, Arnab Roy, Vice President and Head-Marketing, Coca-Cola India and South West said, “The Coca Cola Company is the oldest standing partner for the Olympic Games and the Olympic movement since 1928. As the IOC built up the Paralympic movement, we have always been there. And again, we are also one of the oldest standing partners of the Paralympic movement. So that’s very important as we are beginning the journey in India.” He added that this was perhaps the first time that the brand Thums Up had a large-scale Olympics activation. Roy noted that the brand was clear that if it was associating with the Olympics, then it must partner with the Paralympic Games too. “I was very clear with my team and with all my partners that we have to be part of both the Olympics and the Paralympic Games. And the reason for this was inclusivity. It is one of the biggest things that is becoming extremely important. As a culture, a society, a company and as a brand, inclusivity is going to be one of the most important values as we move ahead,” he asserted.
Sharing further about the reason behind choosing Thums Up for both the Olympics and Paralympics campaigns, Roy said, “Thums up has been there for many years. We’ve all grown up with it and it stands for strength, resilience, and for heroes. This is a point of inflection. The data on the kind of interest generated with the Olympic Games is incredible. It has never happened before and it shows that the country’s changing. And I’m very proud that we are the only FMCG brand sponsor of the Paralympic Games. Honestly, I do believe that this will be a starting point. And hopefully, we will see a lot more brands looking at what Thums up is doing and follow suit. The Coca Cola Company never does things for the short run. And if you look at the history, we are the oldest standing sponsor and partner of the Olympic Games in the world. It’s been close to 100 years. We believe in building long term relationships because that’s the only way we will change the world.”

“When we started out on the theme of this campaign, one of the things that we were very clear about was that we don’t want to sympathise with these athletes. We are focusing on their abilities and their achievements and everything they are doing,” said Roy, while discussing the objectives of the campaign film. However, he adds that the brand is also cognisant of the struggles that these athletes have been through to reach where they are today, and the campaign celebrates their success in the face of all their challenges.
Roy explained that the campaign also honours the resolute spirit of the Paralympic athletes, which helped them win despite obstacles and naysayers. “Therefore the campaign idea borrows from the ‘Palat De’ concept but it has been adapted a bit and is now called ‘Taane Palat De’, showcasing how these heroes have won and proved all their naysayers wrong.”

Speaking about the media mix used for the campaign, Roy highlighted that the brand is going heavy on Digital while also ensuring it will be on all mass media platforms. “The media mix is going to be typically what we usually do, we are going to be there on mass media and are going to be very heavy on Digital and we are also looking at selective activation even within our key partners and stores. We will ensure that even in the Paralympics we will go all in with the same kind of impact and effort as we did in the Olympics. We will have mass media, OOH, Digital and some in-store activations.” He added that TV will obviously take up the lion’s share of investments but the brand will also leverage social media extensively to reach out to the youth in the country. “If we want to make an impact, we have to reach out to the youth and not just in the urban areas but even in the hinterland,” said Roy, noting that it is one of the ways society will see some change and become more inclusive.

Elaborating on the brand’s commitment to the Paralympics, Roy explained, “We are here for the long run. Supporting the Paralympic movement is the right thing to do for this country. It is the right thing to do for us as a brand, as all of us who believe that the power of sport can make a big difference in this country. As I said, we are the one of the oldest standing partners globally. In India, we have just started, and we will continue this support. You will hear some more interesting news that’s going to be coming soon. We are not here to just go in and out, make an ad or make some noise and then leave. We are here to hold hands, and we will be in this journey for the long run. That is a commitment from the Coca Cola Company, at least in India that I can vouch for. As a big global citizen in terms of our history and our legacy, our intention is that we are here in the long run, and we will support as much as we can,” he added.

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Tags : India Coca-Cola Anjana Naskar Thums Up Arnab Roy Paralympic Games