Vanilla Coke in India - B

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTA002
Case Length : 4 Pages
Period : 2003 - 2004
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Coca Cola
Industry : Food and Beverage
Countries : India

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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In April 2004, Coca Cola India (Coke) had launched Vanilla Coke, Coke's first flavor extension in India. The launch had been prompted by the company's falling market share in the face of the pesticide contamination controversy, which had erupted in April 2003.

Blind tests done before launching Vanilla Coke revealed that consumers liked the taste. The concept of ice-cream floats in cola was quite common in urban restaurants in India. Vanilla Coke targeted urban teenyboppers and young adults (12 to 29 age group) in the high and middle income groups. It carried the tag line Ice Creamy Thanda. The India campaign took a cue from the "hip-hop" commercial used in Hong Kong, where it had been successfully launched earlier.

Vanilla Coke stuck to the disco decade of the 1970s. The jingle in the commercial stressed: “No more conventions” and started with the word “Wakaw”1, a slang for cool and different.

The 60-second ad was played on youth-centric channels like MTV, Channel [V], HBO and AXN and even regional channels like Sun TV. With a retro-Bollywood theme, the ad urged consumers to "try something new and different", in classic 1970s style.

Excerpts >>

1] The word 'Wakaw' did not carry any meaning. It was taken out of a Hindi movie of the 1970s.


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