Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coke studio

A music lover's Perspective :

A music lover always feels delighted when he comes across a good piece of music. I had the same feeling when i came across “Coke Studio “ some days ago. I knew, I had found something great to listen to, for years to come.
Coke Studio is a phenomenal show being aired in Pakistan which takes its viewers right into the heart of a recording studio, where they have one of the most legendary musicians performing.
The philosophy of this show is "Fusion music" where they pair up the very famous modern pop/rock singers with classical/sufi singers to bless us with a really beautiful amalgamation of music. They also have in place one of the most handsome bands with instruments ranging from the modern rock instruments to the most traditional instruments like the toomba, dholak, table, sitar and many more which are anonymous to me.

The show is purely magic. The music is exquisite, the singers are mind blowing, the jugal-bandi's are a treat, the songs are made immortal, the atmosphere is electric and the performances nothing less than legendary .

In the Eight episodes aired till now, the coke Studio stage has seen more than 15 musical geniuses including Ali Azmat, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan , Strings , Ali Zafar, Shafaqat Amanat Ali (Fuzon), Josh and Atif.

Fusion music in itself may seem like a known concept of music but in the world of Coke Studio where the artists are masters in genres ranging from Bhangra, to pop, to rock, to folk music, to sufi music, to gazhals , to retro and even jazz ; “Fusion” has immense possibilities.

Some of the top notch performances like the Ali Azmat and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan version of “Garaj Baras Saawan Ghir aayo” are poised to receive a new lease on life at the level of the Eagles, “Hell Freezes Over” version of ‘Hotel California.’ The best of all this is that, Coke Studio has the whole collection on its website free for download including songs, videos and behind the scenes stuff.
Nevertheless, I would plead the SIIB community to abstain from putting more load on our already deceased internet network by downloading videos from the coke studio site. The whole collection sums up to roughly 3 GB which u can easily get from ( MBAIB-0911-Div B : Abhijit, Karan, Abhishek Deobhakt; MBAIB-0911-Div A : Samarth Gupta).
So, I hope everyone enjoys the musical voyage of Coke Studio and hopefully I will see some comments about your favourite songs from the collection.

A Marketer’s Perspective :

Being a management student I attempt here to provide some insights about the marketing repercussions of this show. It should not be forgotten that the name of the show starts with a word called “Coke” and this particular company is known to be one of the smartest and best marketers in the world. Starting with Coke’s association with this show, as we all know , Coke can hardly be counted as a mere “fizzy drink” brand. It goes beyond that. It’s a premium brand. It’s a lifestyle brand. It’s much more closer to its customer’s hearts than a mere cold drink and so is the music showcased in this show. Both these entities match; they complement each other.
Coke, being the ace marketer it is, has not failed to leave a mark on the show. Its the one and only sponsor of the show and brand can be seen everywhere one’s eyes can look.

I think there is some level of addiction attached to good music and when a brand attaches itself to good music , the addiction is transferred to the brand too. We all know how much Airtel and Hutch (Vodafone) have cashed in on their respective ad jingles which were basically very good pieces of music. Here, in Coke Studio, Coke is not only associating itself with these songs but recording them under the brand name of “Coke Studio”. This gives a very powerful branding opportunity as all these songs are stamped with the “Coke” trademark.

Another interesting factor of this show is, its very exclusive. It has produced just 9 episodes (roughly 40 songs) in 2 years. At the same time, it should be noted that the show is broadcasted simultaneously on around 15 different channels at the prime time of 7 to 8 PM. This ensures that a very high amount of people tuned into their TVs are going to watch this show, and history shows they have.
Pakistan, like India is a very young country adopting the western phenomenon like rock concerts and the whole rocknrolla fanfare. So the show is definitely something that appeals to the target audience, The young generation. And as it turns out, the young has shown all its support and appreciation to this show by flocking in numbers to fan clubs and blogs on sites like Facebook and Wordpress.
Another very delicate factor here is that, Pakistan has its own share of Fundamentalists who have raised their voice against this show , circulating hate smses , calling this show “Americanised”. But the show itself has stood this test, the major factor being inclusion of the traditional and highly respected maestros.
What has attracted me most is the novel idea of sharing the complete collection of music to the whole world free of cost on the coke studio website. I somehow relate this to the open sourcing of software done by great brands like Google, Mozilla, Linux, etc and would take the liberty to call this step taken by coke as “Open Source Music .“ Analytically, it does make sense for coke to do so, cause this would allow the music and brand image of Coke to flow out of Pakistan to the world, specially countries like India and other Arab countries. For an omnipresent brand like coke, this is nothing but an icing on the cake.I would invite the readers to share their insights on the marketing side of the story too.

Abhijit (09-11)

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