By Amit Bapna, APAC editor-at-large

February 2, 2023 | 7 min read

The soft drink brand has relaunched its music platform, Coke Studio, in India in a bid to engage with the nation’s young-at-heart, music-loving population and connect with Indians living outside of major cities.

Coca-Cola’s globally feted music-led global franchise is back in India. Coke Studio is a music platform with a mission to provide consumers with exclusive access and content to music festivals, artists and experiences.

The brand unveiled its repositioned India avatar and launched the first-ever edition of Coke Studio Bharat (Bharat is another name for India in the Hindi language). The season will comprise 10 tracks, that will celebrate the evolving young India, and bring together over 50 artists from across the country.

Arnab Roy, vice-president of marketing, Coca-Cola India & Southwest Asia, told The Drum: “The future of India in the next few years is going to be driven by the bold and confident citizens living in the smaller towns of Bharat.”

Speaking at the launch event, Piyush Pandey, chairman of global creative and executive chairman of Ogilvy India, said: “Coke Studio Bharat is an opportunity to move the classical to the ‘massical’ level, where the masses around the world can enjoy the magic of Indian music.”

The evolution of Coke Studio

Coke Studio, a globally acclaimed platform, has been about celebrating authentic regional music in whichever country it has been launched. It made its debut in Brazil in 2006 and has since then been launched in Pakistan, the Middle East, Africa, The Philippines, and Bangladesh. Most recently Coke Studio Tamil launched in Chennai, (South India).

In India, Coke Studio was first launched in 2011 and has had six editions since, the last one being in 2015. Despite a gap of eight years, Coke Studio has continued to have a large fan following in India and Roy credit's the huge success of Coke Studio Pakistan, which has helped keep the brand alive for regional music fans.

What makes Coke Studio Bharat distinct

The refreshed Coke Studio Bharat will feature musical traditions from multiple regions in India to create music for the music-loving, young-at-heart New India consumer. The distinct cultural dots of various regions in the country have been connected with artists whose music is defined by their roots – all of it done in a foot-tapping and engaging manner. The defining thread of this edition, says Roy, is “the revival of pride in the nation – the people of the country are no longer shy of flaunting who they are or where they are from.”

It is no secret that, in the post-TikTok and YouTube era, a majority of content creators are coming from smaller towns in India and not from the metro cities like Mumbai or Delhi. The youth in the smaller towns are having full access, and are thus, fully aware of the global music trends.

This shift is already being witnessed in cricket and now we will see a far more confident youth-led India in music too, adds Roy.

Suggested newsletters for you

Daily Briefing


Catch up on the most important stories of the day, curated by our editorial team.

Ads of the Week


See the best ads of the last week - all in one place.

The Drum Insider

Once a month

Learn how to pitch to our editors and get published on The Drum.

The marketing playbook for the franchise

Without giving the exact investment figures, Roy admits that a sizable part of the marketing budget has been apportioned towards the cocreation of this marquee property. He does hint towards a heavy social media and digital presence stating, “we may not have the classic TV plan on Coca-Cola this year, as those days are over”.

The season has been curated by well-known musician and songwriter, Ankur Tewari along with a think tank comprising poet, lyricist and scriptwriter Kausar Munir and sound engineer and music producer KJ Singh. Universal Music India (UMI) is the executive producer for the launch season of Coke Studio Bharat.

Elaborating on the choice of the young musician Tewari as the curator, Roy shares, “his pitch was very interesting and aligned with our approach and vision.” It helped that Tewari is himself from a small town in India and his heart and soul are still there, adds Roy.

Innovative plans around the content distribution

Once all the songs have been launched, they would be available across all audio OTT platforms including Spotify, Gaana, Saavn, Wynk Music, and Audible worldwide, with distribution managed by UMI.

Coca-Cola cans will have QR codes that can be scanned and take the consumers to the dedicated Coke Studio Hub to provide access to exclusive content created by the artists, along with behind-the-scenes visuals. Scanning the pack will also give audiences access to a 360-degree view of selected songs.

“Coca-Cola has been the zeitgeist of what has been going on in the society for many years and the launch of Coke Studio Bharat is one more step in that direction,” says Roy.

Brand Strategy Coca-Cola India

More from Brand Strategy

View all