Pepsi Battle of the Bands – a terrible costly Disaster in the offing

The much-hyped Pepsi Battle of the Bands is a mega disaster to put the least. For the past many years Coke Studio has rocked and been a trail blazer in the music industry in the country.

As a consequence, Coke has made serious inroads among the youth of the country who used to identify with music and entertainment industry. The quality and production of Coke Studio is mind-blowing and it set the bar so high that even other multi-national companies are struggling to match the sound and video quality that emanates from the Coke Studio.

At one time reportedly Pakistan and Thailand were the only two countries where the share of Pepsi (Sales) was ahead of Coke worldwide. That was a time when Pepsico was headed by a very dynamic Irfan Mustafa and it set the trend of young brand managers. Pepsi ventured heavily into music, cricket and all activities of youth. So much so that Pepsi spent millions to help raise Pakistan’s first-ever theme park with the name ‘Pepsi Jungle Kingdom’. That was a rare concept and set in the beautiful Ayub Park of Rawalpindi it attracted thousands of young visitors everyday. However, like a typical multinational that is only interested in quick fire rewards based on its quarterly reports the Jungle Kingdom was abandoned within the first three years of its launch and some very rare animals including lions and elephants were all lost to the scarcity of funds by the sponsor. The roving spirit behind the project once told Baaghi that the main thriving force behind was Irfan Mustafa once he was transferred, the company did not have the passion to support wildlife or natural themes parks and the project caved in due to financial burdens.

Pepsi had for years concentrated on cricket and music in the country. It teamed up with virtually anyone who hit the music scene starting from Vital Signs to Junoon to Awaaz to so many others but over the years the lure for music diminished. For the past few years, the Coke Studio has rocked the country and so much so once India had to follow Pakistan in the music arena with its own brand of Coke Studio. Despite big names and loads of glamour the Coke Studio Pakistan has managed to attract virtually all viewers as well as stakeholders of the music industry. It targeted the youth but eventually, its high-quality production and presentation have been a hit among differing demographic groups of the country.

Renowned film star Shaan Shahid also took to social media to register his criticism on ‘Pepsi Battle of the Bands.’

Once again Coke is a market leader in a country where Pepsi once ruled, virtually rocked the airwaves. The visibility of Pepsi in the country is also on the down as Coke revamped its distribution, bottling and OTC visibility is fairly visible all round. Though both companies have supported products that are not market leaders like their own brands of bottled water.

Now finally Pepsi comes up with its own music show on television. This is a total flop and so far failed to register its presence let alone make any impression at all. A sloppy production with three judges who have little or no clue about music except for Atif Aslam an accomplished singer, the show is weak in content and planning.

Pepsi reportedly has paid an arm and a leg for its production and it is estimated that the costs so far have exceeded a whopping 62 crores rupees. Misha and Fawad both paid (reportedly) approximately 18 crores between the two of them whilst Atif paid the most on individual basis.

Reportedly, the same team that was instrumental in bad planning and terrible results for Pakistan Idol on Geo TV are behind this project. Geo TV could not repeat the project after the first year disaster and now the same team headed by Saad Bin Mujeeb is reportedly behind the Pepsi Battle of the Bands. Saad meanwhile will be delighted with the money whereas Pepsi must be torn after the cost evaluation. Already there are unconfirmed reports about nepotism and favouritism but they need to be confirmed as this can be an easy blame game on part of those who get rejected.

Photo courtesy: Meesha Shafi Instagram

One thing is for sure Pepsi has produced a mega blunder and failed to stir any positive vibes. That speaks ominous volumes for the brand as well as the music industry of the country already facing hardships due to rising fundamentalism and lack of concerts owing to poor security infrastructure as well as high entertainment taxes.


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