In a country like Pakistan, where extremism is tearing apart the cultural fabric of society, Coca-Cola is helping to foster the new breed of musicians, from classic to folk music. It is interesting merge of corporate interest and art in the form of Coke Studio. Coca cola is expanding this joint venture worldwide. Worth reading history of Coke Studio below. (f sheikh)
In 2006, Coca-Cola approached Rohail Hyatt, a Pakistani musician and producer, with an offer he couldn’t refuse: we’ll pay for you to make a live-music show for television. Don’t worry about the money – just do whatever it takes to ensnare the ears and thus the hearts and minds of Pakistanis everywhere.
Hyatt didn’t disappoint. The first season of “Coke Studio”, which aired in 2008, was received with enthusiasm; subsequent seasons with adulation. The show takes viewers inside the recording studio to watch a diverse range of musicians – young and old, rich and poor, Punjabi and Pushtun – perform songs that put Pakistan’s different musical traditions in conversation with each other: devotional Sufi music with pop, traditional monsoon melodies with rock. When “Coke Studio” first aired, the country was in crisis. Benazir Bhutto had recently been assassinated and thousands of people were being killed every year in terrorist attacks and sectarian incidents. The country was tearing itself apart. But for an hour every week, “Coke Studio”, in its own small way, stitched the nation back together again.
“Coke Studio” continues to be a roaring success. According to Coca-Cola, each season since 2010 has been viewed, at least in part, by 90% of Pakistanis who own a TV. Coca-Cola is so confident about “Coke Studio” that it has adapted the format for 24 other countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa (including some of the biggest: India, Indonesia, Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria).
This isn’t beginner’s luck. For almost as long as the company has existed, Coca-Cola has used music to sell its products. In 1899 Hilda Clark, a dance-hall singer, serenaded the drink in an ad and, in the late 1960s, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and many other pop luminaries wrote radio jingles for the company. But over the last decade, Coca-Cola has deepened its commitment to music and is now a major player in the industry. A year after “Coke Studio” first aired, it launched Coca-Cola FM, a music-streaming website in Latin America. In 2012, the company announced a “global strategic partnership” with Spotify. YouTube, Spotify and other streaming services act as gatekeepers to music; now Coca-Cola does too.