The year was 1993, when the promoters of Parle, the Chauhans decided to sell their iconic brand to American Cola giant, Coca Cola for a mindboggling $60 million. Industry watchers felt that the brand under Coca Cola will die a natural death. However, despite numerous roadblocks which include various attempts by the company itself to marginalize the brand, Thums Up against all logic has managed to retain its numero uno position and in doing so has become prodigiously iconic. The legacy of spawned by this 30 year old brand is mindboggling and despite facing stiff competition from other carbonated drinks, it has been able to maintain its relevance and connection with the Indian masses.

The brand was launched in mid 70s following Coca Cola’s unceremonious exit from the country. Coca Cola’s departure left a major gap in the black carbonated drink space, an ideal opportunity that Mr Rajesh Chauhan grabbed with both hands by launching this brand. The brand became an overnight hit in the metros. Since then in 33 years the brand has leapfrogged the rest of the chasing pack, walloped its competitors and has become an undisputed leader.

Thums Up staggering dominance has befuddled industry experts who cannot find any rationale logic behind the brand’s continuing leadership. Over the years the battle between the Cola majors has only intensified. So Thums Up stupendous achievement is all the more laudable considering the fact that it has to contend with not only Pepsi but also its own sister brand Coca Cola. From 1977 to 2010; from Parle to Coca Cola – “Steal The Thunder” has remained a durable proposition.

Thums Up by the virtue of its high octane advertising campaigns has become synonymous with masculinity – a concept that has been redefined over the years but still relevant in today’s times. The pyro techniques displayed by its brand ambassadors in the ad campaigns has deeply entrenched Thums Up in the mind of the youth as a drink meant only for macho men and it is not for the faint hearted. In a chauvinistic society, where men continuously want to flaunt their bravado, Thums Up has fitted nicely with that ideology.

Even Pepsi’s advertising blitzkrieg where the overwhelming focus was to woo the youth, has not managed to dent the market share of Thums Up. The brand enjoys a deep emotional connect with the Indian people, much like what Coca Cola enjoys in USA. An entire generation has grown up on this brand, so the brand’s emotional quotient is tremendous. Thums Up next task is to consolidate its leadership position, which by no means will be easy with the likes of Pepsi and Sprite on its coattails. But given the brand’s legacy and performance it will be safe to bet on Thums Up beating the living daylight out of its competitors.

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