Gold Spot, the zing thing is back in news with recent still from Mahanati. The poster featuring Samantha Akkineni and Vijay Deverakonda, laughing and bonding over bottles of Gold Spot, has sent social media on a nostalgia trip. It just took us back to the days where we all chilled out with bottle of Gold Spot. Only 80s and 90s kids knew the emotion behind that which used to be the height of cool back then. Going back to those days, lets see how this local drink was killed paving way for Coke’s brands in India.
The story of Gold Spot dates back to the late 1940s when Parle led by Ramesh Chauhan was riding high on the success of its glucose biscuits under the popular brand “Parle Gluco”. In 1949, Parle decided to venture into the cola market by capitalizing on the already popular “Gluco” brand and hence launched a cola drink called “Gluco Cola”. The ad campaign was designed by legendary R K Laxman!! The brand was destined to take off but had hit a hurdle within few weeks of its launch by the global giant, Coca Cola. They faced some legal issues with Coco Cola. And after two years of legal battle Parle decided to give up and discontinued “Parle cola” in 1951.
The actual story has now began. Parle was not the one to give up its ambitions so easily. In 1952, they launched “Gold Spot”, an orange flavored drink. It was an instinct hit because it tasted good even when it was slightly chilled. Vendors would carry them in large utensils filled with ice to chill the bottles and sell them at busy intersections, beaches & tourist spots. It was popular especially among children who loved the orange taste with a fizz. For the next few years, Parle expanded its brand with a some innovative marketing strategies. Soon they also launched Limca – a lemon flavored drink.
Gold spot is popular among children and teenagers. Instead of risking with another new brand altogether, Parle decided to change its marketing strategy by changing the image of Gold Spot from Childrens’ drink to something premium & uber-cool. They spent a lot on print ads to attract all sections of people.
To create some “oomph” factor, the company roped in an unknown South Indian upcoming model for ads, who eventually went on to become the heartthrob of Bollywood. She was none other than Rekha!! Colorful print ads featuring young Rekha sipping Gold Spot through a straw had become a national sensation. Never before had Indians seen such “sexy” ads of a beautiful model sipping a drink or caressing her cheeks with a bottle. The tag line “Livva little hot, Sippa Gold Spot” added more oomph factor, suggesting that Gold Spot was for those who wanted to live “hot“. Soon Gold Spot also experimented with sub-conscious marketing techniques by incorporating flashing messages. In strategic locations across cities, billboards with the ad with flashing lights for the tag-line were installed.
Gold Spot was positioned as the youth brand and the ads talked about being crazy about the brand. But it didn’t last long. After reentry of Coco Cola in 1993,it bought out the three mega brands from Parle for a consideration of $10 mn. Coke slowly began killing the Parle brands to make way for its own brands. Thums Up was sidelined in favour of Coca Cola. Limca was sidelined and Goldspot was killed to make way for Fanta. Coke expected that the users of Gold Spot will migrate to Fanta but it did not happened. And that is how the most loved brand of 90s has been killed. We saw Limca coming back in 2006.. Hope Gold Spot too will make its re-entry soon!
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