The brand is desi

ThumsupThe thing I missed most while living abroad was … Thums up. Few Indian grocery stores did carry the bottles, but one could tell that the fizz and freshness was missing. And I used to wonder, what if the Coca Cola company tried selling Thums Up abroad?

Back home, ask cola drinkers of our nation, and the genuine ones will tell you that pepsi has a lot more sugar than CO2 while coke is bland and short on fizz. Didn’t they try killing Thums Up brand after acquiring it? They may say no, but back then I couldn’t explain how the local grocery stores stayed short on Thunder for few weeks at a stretch. “Supply nahin hai saahab”, I remember that from 94/95.

After having learnt its lessons, Coke doesn’t neglect Thums Up as much now, but a look at the TV ads might establish a theory of step-brotherly treatment. Aamir Khan vs Akshay Kumar? Any guess who’d be cheaper to hire? And why is it that they cant get cricket associated with Thums Up, isn’t that a thunderous game as well? May be, may be that good cricketers cost a lot more than Akshay Kumar :)

Now the last and main grouse – why cant they show women enjoying Thums Up? Whoever decided to cut 50% of the market off like that is living in the dark ages. You might say that re-branding it as a “masculine” drink has sustained the mind-share and sales. See these lines at Coca Cola India website

Thums Up is known for its strong, fizzy taste and its confident, mature and uniquely masculine attitude. This brand clearly seeks to separate the men from the boys

How about dropping that firang sounding masculine attitude and positioning it as the local drink? Swadesi Thunder or Desi thanda anyone? Do you think a ‘local’ campaign like that could knock others off the shelves!?

Anyways and so long. Keep tasting the thunder.


8 Responses

  1. I agree.

    Everytime I visit home,
    Thums Up is the first choice.
    Coke or Pepsi comes nowhere near.
    Now I’ll be getting withdrawl symptoms. :)

  2. back in the early ’80s, me and my friends drank THUMS UP just to collect the caps from which we used to extract popular cricketers like viv richards, kapil dev…

  3. Coke has been trying to position THUMS UP as to compete with their competitor PEPSICO. They were able to succeed with “Pepsi is Sweet and for kids Vs. THUMS UP is strong” typo promos in India couple of years back. That way they were trying to reduce competition to COKE (Posed by PEPSI) and putting lot of money in marketing COKE to make it more popular as a brand universally. On the other side, after THUMS UP ad, PEPSICO was more interested in improving their image in market rather then competing with COKE.

    This is just like Barrichello helped Schumaker win F1 grand prix (2002 Austrian GP) sacrificing his position even though he was in better position to win the race. (

    Sacrificing lesser known product to promote and pave way for much famous product has been old known marketing strategy followed by many product companies.

  4. My husband shares the same thoughts about Thums Up. I, for one, will never get it. I cannot relish, enjoy, or drink colas. More sugar, less fizz, too warm … are all very alien to me. One thing is of course true, all of them are unhealthy. :)

  5. Little Indian – was the case for me too. airport itself many times :)

    RK – right, so Thums Up had cricket associations in past that Coca Cola India chose not to continue. Film starts for Coke, Cricketers for Thums Up, how about that strategy for ad campign.

    Prem – I remember that. That is how they revived Thums Up. But I would say that Thums Up is still as well, if not better known in India. MNCs should try going all out ‘local’ once in a while. If Coke only sold Thums Up, who knows, it may have avoided pesticide controversy.

    Chitra – one person’s junk is other guy’s prize :)

  6. Coke knows if they sell Thums Up abroad, they may instantly kill Coca-cola their flagship brand..

    SB, you guessed it right the aquisition of Thumbs Up surely was to kill the local brand just like ‘Gold Spot’ was killed, I used to love the tangy ‘Zing Thing’ Gold Spot!!

    War is not with oursiders but within!!

  7. Aaaah Thums Up and Limca… wonder if they add anything “extra”…

  8. Thums Up. I, for one, will never get it. I cannot relish, enjoy, or drink colas. More sugar, less fizz, too warm … are all very alien to me. One thing is of course true, all of them are unhealthy. :)

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