Until leaving India in 1977, Coca Cola was the nation's leading soft drink. It was around that time that the Chauhan brothers launched Thums Up, Parle's flagship cola drink. The "Tough Man's Cola" quickly went on to become a nationwide success, dominating smaller players like Campa Cola, Double Seven and Double Cola for over a decade. But all that changed in 1993 - for that was when Coca Cola re-entered the Indian market and Pepsi launched here too.
Coke and Pepsi's emergence in the market redefined the image of not just colas, but soft drinks in general. The entire category was now younger and associated with fun and masti. Since this was fundamentally opposed to Thums Up's more mature, tough image, it presented a serious problem of consumer alienation for the brand.
Our research showed that the brand was mainly identified with the 'Thums Up Man'. And while the category was now identified as younger, it would be damaging to decades of brand equity for the Thums Up Man to soften his image. The solution - for him to meet his consumers halfway.
So exit the loner, macho Thums Up Man and enter the social, personable Thums Up Man who retained his sense of adventure.
The result of our research was the memorable "Bungee Jump Ad", which retained the brand's values and made them relevant to a new generation of consumers.
Thums Up relaunched itself with a brand image that retained its brand loyalists while adding new consumers.