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Pepsi ads: From 'Yehi hai right choice' to catering youngistaan

'Yehi hai right choice' with stars and glamour was an adaptation of an international Pepsi campaign.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 15, 2010, 06.47 AM IST
Pepsi ads: From 'Yehi hai right choice' to catering youngistaan
Perhaps the line 'Yehi hai right choice baby, aha!' epitomises the year 1990. It was the eve of liberalisation when India would open its doors to a world of choices. And brands like Pepsi were looking to ride the wave with the 'right choice' line.

From thereon, both Pepsi and Coca-Cola have looked to engage with the audience, sometimes with straight conversations, sometimes with interesting ambushes. Pepsi’s 'right choice' in the last two decades has grown up, as it now talks to youngistan. Talking about the 1990 campaign, Abhinav Dhar, joint MD, D&H Blurb, then the creative director at JWT, the agency handling the brand, says the launch was a mad rush to be ahead in the cola race.

"One was anticipating Coke to launch anytime and Pepsi wanted to be the first to build roots in India," he says. In many ways, Pepsi was the first global brand to get Indianised, he adds. The objective then was to make a big bang and the cola brand chose singer Remo Fernandes and actress Juhi Chawla as the characters.

'Yehi hai right choice' with stars and glamour was an adaptation of an international Pepsi campaign. "We wanted it to be grand and make the impact that a brand like Pepsi needed and though we were quite over-budget with that one, that advertising was one of the best ever made for Pepsi," recollects Ravi Dhariwal, CEO - publishing, BCCL, then the marketing head for Pepsi.

The ad was shot by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, one of the hottest young directors in Bollywood, fresh from the success of Parinda. 'Yehi hai right choice' can be called the corner stone of all the conversations Pepsi has had so far with the target audience, particularly the youth. 'Right choice' in 1990 was a precursor to 'Youngistaan' in 2010. Hari Krishnan, the creative director on Pepsi at JWT believes that both the campaigns spoke to the same audience albeit in different environment.

"The right choice campaign happened at a time when it was about choosing between Indian and Western influences," he says. Today, the 'Youngistaan ' campaign talks about a confident youth populace in a country with the largest youth population in the world. Sandeep Singh Arora, EVP - marketing - colas, Pepsico, says the brief for 'Youngistaan' was to bring alive the connect with the youth.

"Today the youth are completely in control, they take on convention, do things not done before and are audacious. The brief was to bring forth their audacity, provoke and encourage this attitude, but do it in a fun, entertaining way." The 'right choice' campaign started Pepsi's association of combining glamour and entertainment with the occasional tongue-in-cheek communication.

In fact, before Aamir Khan became famous for the Coca-Cola 'Paanch' campaign , the actor was part of a Pepsi 'Yehi hai right choice' campaign in the early 90s, that also featured Aishwarya Rai and Mahima Chowdhury. Interestingly the Aamir Pepsi ad was an adaptation of Pepsi's international campaign starring Michael J Fox.

As competition between the cola majors heated up, the audience got a glimpse of classic ambush marketing with 'Nothing official about it' from Pepsi to counter Coke's official association with the cricket world cup in 1996. The 90s saw some interesting creative work from both the cola brands. Time for the colas to fizz it up now?

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