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Dada, Dravid axed from Team Pepsi

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Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma

New Delhi, February 17
The change of guard in Indian cricket team is reflecting in the endorsement market, with soft drinks major Pepsi deciding to drop Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid as ambassadors while roping in youngsters Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma, in line with its brand ideology.

As far as master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who has been Pepsi's brand ambassador for a long time now, is concerned, the company is observing a silence.

"From time to time we review the list of stars and depending on situation and who we think is right, we pick and choose. In case of cricketers, Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma are surely in as they have the attitude and aggression reflecting Pepsi's brand image PepsiCo India Executive Vice President, Marketing (Cola), Sandeep Singh Arora told PTI.

“If you talk about Rahul and Ganguly, they are not on the list now,” Arora said.

While Ganguly and Dravid have been dropped from the one-day team, on Tendulkar who is a part of the team, Arora said, “It would be inappropriate to talk about him at this point of time.” Pepsi’s decision to sign Ishant and Rohit, the two emerging cricketers who have received accolades for their performances in the ongoing Commonwealth Bank One-day triseries in Australia, is a part of the company's focus to position Pepsi as a youth brand, for which it has also kicked off its new campaign for 2008, ‘Yeh hai Youngistaan Meri Jaan’.

“The new campaign targets the youth of the nation, not only youngsters but also people young at heart. ‘Youngistaan’ represents a never failing attitude, desire to take on challenges and the power to turn things around,” Arora said.

The television commercial created by JWT, featuring Pepsi brand ambassadors Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, is already on air. The TV commercial is to be followed by advertisements across radio, outdoor, web and wireless, besides a series of events during the year.

PepsiCo is also bullish the Indian Premier League, which will start from April. “IPL is a great opportunity for the game and people of India. Even we are exploring all possibilities to leverage from the series,” Arora said.

He said things would be finalised by the end of February on the sponsors’ rights. “Picture will be clear by the end of this month,” he said.

Commenting on the new campaign, JWT Vice-President Hari Krishnan said, “Youngistaan is a feeling that is racing through every youthful nerve in the country today. Brand Pepsi will simply tap this energy and help the youth express this emotion.” — PTI



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