Coca-Cola boosts ad spending in India | Mint – Mint

NEW DELHI : Coca-Cola India on Friday said it has allocated record marketing budget for Thums-Up, Coca-Cola, and Sprite for September and December quarter by leveraging its global partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intensify advertising efforts for the ongoing Men’s World Cup, as well as the festive season.
The move follows a lacklustre performance by beverage makers in the summer.
In 2019, ICC and Coca-Cola signed a five-year global contract, appointing the American beverage company’s brands as exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partners for all ICC events globally until 2023.
The World Cup promotions are spearheaded by Thums Up the largest selling brand in its India portfolio, while the flagship, Coca-Cola, focuses more on festive season campaigns. It is also investing in promoting Sprite for the ongoing cricket tournament, said Arnab Roy, vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola India, and Southwest Asia.
“We’ve been activating ICC World Cup with brand Thums Up along with the recently piloted Limca Sportz. All the activations around the festivals also started off in a very big way in Maharashtra followed by Durga Puja in West Bengal. We’ve also been doing some very interesting stuff around Diwali but in a slightly limited way, because there is also the World Cup…This will result in one of the largest (marketing) investments we have done in Q3 and Q4 combined in our company’s history in India,” Roy said during a virtual media round-table.
While most firms spruce up spending in the run up to the festive season, beverage makers typically amplify advertising spends during peak summer months. However, summer sales of cold drinks were “challenging” with unseasonal rains hitting demand for beverages this year.
Roy admitted to a difficult summer but said the firm did not cut advertising and promotional spending.
“We had invested heavily in summer, and during the IPL. We didn’t reduce our investments because we always work on very long-term planning cycles,” he added.
India is hosting the World Cup after 12 years, coinciding with the festivities, which typically sees an uptick in demand across categories.
As a result, the company’s advertising spending is on an upswing.
However, this did not deter the company’s plans to step up advertising during the World Cup. In fact, December quarter ad spends for the beverage maker are up 5-7% compared to a year earlier.
“We have been working on ICC plans for the last one year with bottling partners. With our bottling partners making investments we needed to be committed that our marketing investments do not go down. I would say Q4 spends as a percentage of overall spends in a year were close to 5-7% higher than what we do in a normal year,” Roy added.
Meanwhile, commenting on demand, Roy said while inflationary pressures have remained high affordability will continue to play an important role in the company’s growth for the next few months.
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