In India, Coca-Cola breaks ice after arranged marriage

Coca-Cola India "Bidaai" by McCann Erickson.
Coca-Cola India "Bidaai" by McCann Erickson.

The campaign by McCann Erickson reunites Bollywood rom-com stars Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt

MUMBAI — Coca-Cola has launched a TV ad that features Bollywood actors Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt playing a newlywed couple in an arranged marriage. The film was created by McCann Erickson. The spot follows a teaser earlier this year featuring the two stars of hit Indian romantic comedy "Student of the Year."

The spot is titled "Bidaai," which represents the ceremonial departure of a new bride from her parents' home. The newlyweds are traveling by car, and their awkwardness is palpable. Trying to diffuse the tension, Malhotra urges his new wife to speak openly about her likes and dislikes. After a brief pause when she considers what to say, Bhatt reveals that she likes the taste of Coca-Cola.

Malhotra smiles, as the ice between them starts to break. The next scene shows them out of the car near a shop by the highway. Malhotra runs towards Bhatt with a bottle of Coca-Cola. He hands her the bottle, but she returns it. A confused Malhotra says, "Par aap ko toh pasand hai" (But you like this). Bhatt promptly replies, "Mujhe aap bhi bahut pasand hai" (I like you, too). As the music swells, the two share the drink, as the tension dissolves. The film ends with a voice over saying, "Taste jo har dil chahe" (Taste that every heart desires).

"Coca-Cola is one of the most loved brands in the world and has had a long journey in India, connecting with the consumers at a deep, emotional level," said Debabrata Mukherjee, VP of marketing and commercial with Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.

"We’ve been able to sustain the love for the brand through some very thoughtfully crafted communication as we operate in a space where the emotional connect with the consumer is paramount. Coca-Cola is a brand that means different things to different people across the globe. The common thread across all those emotions being happiness and the celebration of togetherness.

"The new [ad] featuring Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra is inspired by a real life situation that almost all of India will relate to and there is no one else who could’ve attracted more love for the characters played, than these two happiness ambassadors. With the new campaign, we continue on our journey of celebrating the universally loved taste of Coca-Cola and the warmth that it can bring to relationships, old and new."

Prasoon Joshi, CEO and chief creative officer, McCann World Group India, added, "You have arguably the world’s most loved cola brand, the country’s most loved on-screen duo, and your task only gets tougher because the expectations are sky high. What do you do? You keep it simple and straightforward.

"You take inspiration from the lives of the audience that you’re trying to address. Point in case, the current campaign that takes inspiration from the institution of marriage that sometimes puts two strangers together and the journey of discovering and knowing the other person starts after getting married. Alia and Siddharth showcase the subtlety and shyness of characters with utmost ease and their depiction of how they bond over the universally loved taste of Coca-Cola will entice the audience into reliving that taste once again."

The media plan includes OOH, digital, points of sale and on-ground initiatives across key markets.


Client: Coca-Cola India
Agency: McCann Erickson
Creative team: Prateek Bhardwaj, Ritu Sharda
Production house: Breathless Films
Director (film):

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