18 January, 2021

When Coke Sings Pepsi's Tune

The Cola giants lock heads again. Over 'Ala Re Ala', which Pepsi accuses Coke of plagiarising.

When Coke Sings Pepsi's Tune

HERE they go again. After war on the banks of the Ganges during the Kumbh mela, spoofing and counterspoofing each other during the cricket season, and trading charges over dealer and employee hijackings, Coke and Pepsi are now embroiled in a plagiarisation dispute.

Pepsi and its agency HTA claim they were planning a mega campaign starring Sachin Tendulkar for which they'd roped in Mumbai filmmaker Pralhad Kakkar. Sachin would be shot in various places—from Mumbai's multi-layered dhobi ghats to the city's beaches—with the theme song Govinda (read Sachin) Ala Re, Aaa La... a classic film song that's become integral to Maharashtra's Janmash-tmi celebrations. But even before the first rough cut could be made, Kakkar and Pepsi officials claim they were startled to see a Coca Cola commercial with a similar tune—Ala Re Aaa La, Coca Cola—during the recent Diana Memorial cricket match at Lord's. And ironically, a match in which Sachin's bat blazed again.

"Sheer theft," is what Vibha Paul Rishi, PepsiCo's executive...



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