Pepsi made its biggest mistakes by letting go of its trump card, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, and by not unlocking his brand value while he was batting for the Pepsi team. Pepsi’s rather sad and hard-to-believe rationale was its willingness to stick to its “youngistaan” image. Soon after came Pepsi’s ICC Cricket World Cup “change the game” campaign, where it roped in a 47 year-old Billy Bowden. Now how Billy is in line with its so called ‘youngistaan’ strategy, I fail to comprehend. Come to think of it, Billy Bowden has been hailed because of his quirkiness and because of his identification with the masses. Pepsi is thus leveraging more on the “Billy Bowden Brand” rather than impressing its ‘youngistan’ image upon viewers.
This is exactly my point. Pepsi failed to cash in on "Brand Sachin." With SRT still amongst the runs and retirement not very far away, it was a fantastic platform to use “Brand Sachin” to promote the young guns of India, spread the good word about cricket, showcase Sachin’s innovative “change the game” approaches through the years and position him as a Pepsi and cricket veteran. When the endorser is bigger than the brand he endorses (at least in
Not surprisingly, Coke pounced on the opportunity and grabbed Sachin as soon as Pepsi dropped him. It’s ironical but this man has never been dropped from the Indian cricket team.
With incidents like Sachin on the verge of 100 tons and him being a gentleman by walking back after nicking Rampaul in the
vs. WI World Cup game, Coke will literally be smacking its lips. There is so much leverage available with Sachin Tendulkar – the company being endorsed simply needs to find a believable commonality and use the endorser’s brand equity to enhance its own. Sony, for example, has done well with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni almost appears bigger than the brand in the World Cup adverts. Ind
The other beauty about “Brand Sachin” is the credibility factor. SRT endorses select brands which dramatically increases his credibility amongst viewers.
Now it’s up to Coke to cash in on or make a mess of this wonderful opportunity – the latter, however, would be extremely hard to do.
Brace yourselves - soon Sachin might be seen taking a sip of Coke and going “BRRRRRRR !”