Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has announced plans to re-launch Campa Cola. The soda first hit shelves in the 1970s, and became so popular it once rivaled Coca-Cola and Pepsi. This summer, Ambani’s Reliance Group will reintroduce Campa Cola to India’s multibillion-dollar non-alcoholic drink market. The relaunched soft drinks will come in three flavors: cola, lemon, and orange.
Soda king Coca-Cola was introduced to the Indian market in the 1950s but was pulled about two decades later when the government put in a regulation that would have required coke to reveal its formula. To be fair, it isn’t really feasible when only two people in the world know only half of the recipe and can never be in the same room together. We all know that’s how multi-billion dollar corporations are run!
So, India entered the spicey sugar water market with its own soda, Campa Cola. Its popularity spread like wildfire and it soon dominated the country’s soft drink market. Campa’s use of catchy advertising campaigns aimed at India’s youth certainly helped it solidify its foothold. Their print ads were often youth-centric with bright, bold colors. They even used celebrities like Bollywood actor Salman Khan in ad spots. These flashy ads paired with their patriotic slogan: “The Great Indian Taste,” solidified the brand into the cultural zeitgeist.
That is until the 1990s when Campa Cola’s popularity began to wane. While they avoided gimmicks like Crystal Campa and New Campa, the rock that took Goliath down was political. In the ‘90s India’s then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and Finance Minister Manmohan Singh opened the country up to foreign investment. This meant companies like Coca-Cola could reenter the market. By 1993 Coca-Cola, joined by Pepsi and Fanta were back on shelves and gaining popularity, and the once beloved Campa Cola gradually faded away.
Reliance recently acquired Campa and intends to bring it back not only for those who drank it growing up. But also for a whole new generation that may not remember its previous incarnation. “By presenting Campa in its new avatar, we hope to inspire consumers across generations to embrace this truly iconic brand and trigger a new excitement in the beverage segment,” a spokesperson told CNN News-18.
We hope it’s as good as everyone remembers. Check out a vintage Campa Cola ad below: