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Pepsi's 'Fukrey' campaign shows how soft drinks are linked to food, friends

Pepsi has roped in the Fukrey cast in its new campaign to show how the carbonated soft drink is linked to food and friends

Ritwik Sharma 

Cold drink ads have gradually moved on from projecting the products as the best bet to address something as basic as quenching thirst to serving them as necessities for occasions—from the everyday to special. A new campaign by Pepsi reflects this trend, as it ropes in popular characters from the Fukrey franchise to impress upon the viewer how the carbonated soft drink ties in with friendship and food today. The minute-long television commercial shows two of the characters, Hunny and Laali, seeing off their friend Choocha at the train platform. As the train is about the leave, Choocha asks for samosas. Hunny rushes to fetch them even as Laali tries to discourage the last-minute frenzy. Hunny just about delivers the snacks to his friend in the moving train, only to be asked, “Kyun sookhe sookhe hi?” (Is there nothing to wash down the snack with?) Moments later, a shabby looking Hunny gets on board with a bottle of Pepsi in hand. The ad ends with the friends looking confused when the train superintendent arrives asking for their tickets. Raj Rishi Singh, director of marketing, Pepsi, PepsiCo India, says that the brand’s positioning has remained unchanged in terms of celebrating moments in a consumer’s life. “What we are dialing up here is friends and food, which is one of the old demand spaces for us. And the idea behind this execution was, how do we bring it alive with a simple insight—just like life is incomplete without friends, food is incomplete without Pepsi. Hence, ‘Kyun sookhe sookhe ji’ (the title of the campaign),” he adds. The brand wanted to establish friends and food along with Pepsi.

And it sought a cast that could stand for real friends. Hence the trio from Fukrey, the Bollywood comedy centred around friends, were picked for the ad, says Singh. From a marketing point of view, besides creating a 360-degree campaign to sell this idea and touch consumers at multiple points—from mass media to digital to youth hangouts—packaging of the bottles was also a critical aspect. Therefore, PepsiCo—which along with Coca-Cola are the two leading companies in the Rs 14-trillion carbonated soft drink industry in India—has come out with its “foodicon” bottles which have representations of a variety of well-known Indian snacks. The campaign was conceptualised by JWT. Senthil Kumar, chief creative officer, JWT India, says the context in this ad is not just thirst but on building on the unique relationship between friends, food and Pepsi. “The new campaign line is ‘Kyun sookhe sookhe hi’, and reminds the young and restless of how your favourite food needs a friend like Pepsi every time,” Kumar says, pointing out how over the years, Pepsi has created some memorable lines that defined cultural moments. These include “Pepsi thi pi gaya”, “Yeh pyaas hai badi”, “Yeh dil maange more” and “Yeh hai youngistaan meri jaan”. The real life friendship of the Fukrey gang presented an ideal casting opportunity, says Kumar. The brand has planned several digital extensions following this campaign which will span the summer months. “Brand Pepsi has always created popular culture and echoed the current youth trends, and it aims to connect with BFFs everywhere. You can ask your friends for anything and they will go to unreasonable lengths to get it for you. This is what happens when Hunny goes to hell and back to get Choocha his favorite samosa and Pepsi combination,” adds Kumar.

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First Published: Thu, April 05 2018. 06:58 IST
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