Coca-Cola: Shadow play used well

Coke’s advertising has improved a lot in recent times, with style and chutzpah in their commercials

The new Coke commercial with actor Imran Khan is quite cool. It employs the ancient trick of shadow play as a gimmick. Madhya Pradesh Tourism has in its recent advert also used this art form to highlight interesting destinations, sights, etc. The trick works there too, but Coke’s work is a bit superior because they have weaved in a little story in the shadow play. And that makes it more interesting.

The commercial casts the movie actor as a tired factory worker. Inside a cabin, he notices a man with a bottle of Coke. He only notices shadows, though. Exhausted and thirsty, and desperate for a drink, the worker uses his hands to create a shadow on the wall, and with that he tries to ‘grab’ the Coke bottle. But the owner of the drink takes it away in the nick of time.

The protagonist makes more such attempts with shadow play, but is unable to ‘get his hands’ on the bottle. Finally, the bottle disappears from sight. He gives up looking unhappy and disappointed. Then suddenly, he is joined by a woman, whose shadow he was watching. And who he had imagined to be a man because of her bob cut hair. Naturally, the worker is embarrassed but the girl isn’t.

In fact, she offers him her Coke. And probably herself too! So, yes, the chap gets the Coke and the gal. Cool! In the background plays a remixed track of an ancient filmy number, which has become a fad these days. Because lyricists aren’t able to think beyond badnaam Munni and besharam Sheela. So that’s understandable.

All in all, good stuff. Must say Coke’s advertising has improved a lot
in recent times, and they have been able to inject style and chutzpah
in their commercials. I also quite liked the earlier commercial with
Imran Khan and Kalki Koechlin in the bus—where they use hand
movements to ‘drink’ the Coke. And in this case, the use of shadow
play makes the ad charming and very watchable. Also, actor Imran Khan
is used well, and he plays to his core strengths. Unlike Pepsi, which
almost always struggles with its brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor.

Yup, the ad lives up to all the fundamental principles of advertising:
It’s distinctive, product centric, stylish, refreshing and entertaining. Most critical for a product such as a cold drink, that’s nothing more than sweetened water and holds little value beyond some fun moments and its efficacy as a superb toilet cleaner.

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