Coca-Cola Set to Boost Brand Spending during ICC Cricket World Cup and Festive Season in India
Coca-Cola, the global beverage giant, is gearing up for its highest-ever brand spending in the second half of 2023 in India, coinciding with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and the festive season. This strategic move aims to stimulate consumption and business expansion during a pivotal period, according to Arnab Roy, Vice President of Marketing at Coca-Cola India and South-West Asia.
While the exact amount of this spending remains undisclosed, it is a significant component of their overall investment during the ICC World Cup, which Roy emphasizes provides an immense platform for business growth.
Coca-Cola faced challenges during an unusual summer marked by unseasonal rains, but they are optimistic about the festive season. Despite challenging macroeconomic conditions, they anticipate increased spending across various categories, with a particular focus on affordability packages.
Roy, when asked about making up for a slower second quarter, expressed positivity based on the trends observed in the third and fourth quarters. He is encouraged by the outlook for the remainder of the year.
The festival season has already commenced in some parts of India, and Coca-Cola has initiated brand activation. They are replicating these efforts in neighboring markets like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Roy highlighted that this endeavor will result in one of the largest combined investments in the third and fourth quarters in the history of Coca-Cola in India. This investment is a collaboration between Coca-Cola and its bottling subsidiary, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages.
In terms of advertising spending, Roy pointed out, “Ad spends in the December quarter as a percentage of overall spending are 5-7 percent higher compared to a year ago.” Coca-Cola India’s advertising promotional expenses for FY22 were reported at Rs 737.97 crore.
Coca-Cola holds the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partnership with the ICC until 2023 and is actively promoting its brands Thums Up and Limca Sportz, along with Sprite, the second brand in India to surpass USD 1 billion in annual sales.
With the ICC Cricket World Cup taking place in India, Coca-Cola is capitalizing on this significant sporting event, focusing on brand activation, marketing, and engagement to maintain business momentum.
Roy stressed that this investment extends beyond classic brand marketing. It includes shopper marketing, trade marketing, collaboration with customers, retailers, and distributors, encompassing the entire ecosystem, which necessitated an increase in Direct Marketing Expense (DME).
Thums Up leads the marketing efforts for the ICC World Cup, while brand Coca-Cola focuses on the festive season. Roy emphasized the importance of maintaining investment in the face of a challenging summer to ensure that long-term metrics remain strong.
Despite the typical trend of reduced business expansion in the second half of the year, the ICC World Cup provides a unique opportunity to increase numeric distribution in small towns and rural India. Coca-Cola anticipates robust demand in both urban and rural areas, and they are optimizing their offerings through affordable packaging options to meet this demand.
Coca-Cola is also expanding its returnable glass bottle business, emphasizing the importance of price points at Rs 10 and Rs 20. They are working to ensure that profitability remains unaffected while meeting consumer needs.
In addition to their brand efforts, Coca-Cola is a lead sponsor of Disney Star, which holds exclusive broadcast and media rights for both linear and digital platforms of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, including the OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar. This strategic partnership enhances the reach and impact of Coca-Cola’s promotional activities during this significant sporting event.