Iconic Ads: Panch Matlab Chota Coke

McCann wanted to bring in some uniqueness in communication. People have little interest in watching ads repeatedly which keep saying Rs 5.

In the initiative to get a larger share of the market and increase consumption, Coca Cola launched a 100 ml bottle at Rs 5 called Chota Coke. Affordability was an important criterion in the market. Being price elastic, even a small difference can impact volumes dramatically. Other hot beverages, like tea, were priced around the same and it now put Coke in the consideration set. Also, the quantity was great for a single-serve.

The brief to McCann was simple – communicate the Rs 5 value of Chota Coke.

The typical advertising would be to say “Now for Rs 5 only” or “Introductory Price Rs 5 only” etc.

And that’s what they did not want to do. They wanted to bring in some uniqueness in the communication. As Prasoon Joshi pointed out, people have little interest in watching ads repeatedly which keep saying Rs 5 again and again.

So McCann decided to bring a story to it to communicate the pricing, as there are fun, twists, etc., and customers like to watch it for the story. This way the message is communicated and highlighted repeatedly, perhaps even subliminally!

It was decided to bring the communication under the same theme of the Thanda Matlab campaign.

It was again the combination of Prasoon Joshi, Aamir Khan and Ashutosh Gowarikar which created the magic. There is a Lagaan connection here too. Rajesh Vivek aka Guran in Lagaan was cast as the shopkeeper.

The line Paanch Matlab Chhota Coke came about much later after multiple options had been tested. It was used because it was in sync with Thanda Matlab and sounded nice!

Interestingly, the song that Aamir sings Thande Ke Tadka (a take on the song Chalat Musafir) was added in the last and was not planned before. It showed the character was flirty and a showoff.

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