Music has no language, The Coca-Cola Company has tuned several content pieces to communicate that to its consumers. Recently, Coca-Cola India released an original song ‘Memu Aagamu’ starring Allu Arjun. The new song is an extension of Coca-Cola’s global brand platform - Real Magic. The song is a dance-pop number that fuses together Hindi, Korean, and English lyrics, with a Telugu hook “Memu Aagamu, Asalu Aagamu” translating to “we won’t stop, we really won’t stop”.
It is produced by Lost Stories duo Prayag Mehta and Rishab Joshi along with K-Pop producer S.TIGER and sung by Armaan Malik, the first-ever artist of Indian origin to feature on Spotify’s Times Square billboard. It also features verses from K-pop group TRI.BE. The project has been managed by Coca-Cola’s partners at WPP – OpenX and Motion Content Group in conjunction with Universal Music Group for Brands, India.
Talent management firm Represent's founder, Aayushman Sinha worked as a music consultant on this project. Sinha’s company also represents Malik.
Here's a BTS view of what went into putting this project together.
What was the brief given to you by Coke?
The conversation started a year ago. With the success of Coke Studio, the brand became prominent in this industry. They wanted to understand what the current music consumption trends are. The goal set was to create a piece that will make listeners feel good and energetic.
Could you share with us some behind-the-scene stories while making #MemuAagamu?
We scraped the song that we decided to go with two weeks before we were going to shoot. The lyrics were written in less than a week’s time. It went on smoothly because everyone was well invested in the project. All the artists were at their professional best. The shoot happened in Thailand.
What was really interesting to watch was how professional TRI.BE were. They were there just for a day. They treated every rehearsal as if it was a final one. It showed how dedicated and passionate Korean artists are. Everyone was spellbound by their professionalism. We had an action-packed shoot. Our wrap-up was at 9 pm, our last shot was taken at 8:59 pm. There were 250 people on the project. Coke talks about ‘Real Magic’. I think magic really came into play for us to make this project a success.
Aayushman Sinha, founder of talent management firm Represent
Coke Studio is a classic brand study on how brands can tune into content that has lasting impressions. So is Nescafé Basement. How do you think marketers can create such properties in India?
As a brand, Coke collaborates with a lot of sports personalities and musicians. That’s mainly because they are authentic. Be it on ground or on stage they are not trying to be someone else. They are who they are in real life. This builds in a high level of consumer connection. While marketers are thinking of going mass with their strategies, Coke has a mix of both niche and mass approaches. This creates resonance in different ways.
Brands like Coke that have used music as one of the key content pieces, understand the importance of experiences and emotions over taglines and product placements. Right now marketers are still stuck about their logo presence and brand mentions. It can be a one-off but that piece will not travel anywhere. It may not become a part of a consumer’s playlist. To create IPs marketers should really understand the consumers from the core.
Do you think brands use musicians enough to create the right noise? What are the unexplored opportunities?
To be honest, no brands are making enough noise using musicians yet. A few brands like H&M and Zomato, have tastefully put together branded pieces with music artists. The shift is happening slowly. The avenues to collaborate with musicians are endless. Today, they are personalities who are known for their style, fashion sense, and more. Brands should be looking at them beyond a music video.
The Hallyu wave has taken the world by storm. The likes of BTS and Blackpink have become mega global brands. What are the lessons that Indian artist managers and marketers can learn from their success?
What Indian artist managers and marketers can learn from mega bands and brands like BTS and Blackpink is the power of unity. Their fandoms are case studies in themselves. Every fan feels like they are a part of a universe that’s so close and personal. They feel an integral part of their journey too. The feeling of belonging to their communities is unique and special. In India, a musician will drop a song or an album, will do a tour, and that’s about it. K-Pop artists add so many facets when their new work is out.
From merchandise, live-stream engagements, memorabilia, and developing exclusive showcases to mass micro-content, K-Pop artists have a nuanced approach while marketing their work. These spaces are where fans talk to each other and feel up and close. Even a single image release be it of the band or an artist from the band creates a high volume of excitement. They are so thoughtful about their every approach. They are well invested in planning and mapping these activities out for their fans. They have changed the perception of how music artists function. Their work brings so much professionalism across the table. Their sense of discipline is a lesson for everyone out there. I think the way K-Pop works is the best marketing case in the world.
What’s next on Represent’s brand playlist? As an agency what do you plan to explore next? What’s in the works?
We have 16 artists who are in different stages of their lives. Going forward, we would like to work on a lot of sustained music IPs for brands. We would like to also identify more brands that are more authentic in their approach. The other focus area is putting together touring events for artists. People like to come and support independent artists more than ever before. It’s an experiential space and brands can offer a lot more than what is already done.