This collection of photos forms part of a current research project which entails exploration of visual communications for the marketing of Coca Cola in India through the lens of 'glocalisation'– viewing such advertising as a site of negotiation between global and local factors.

In 1977 Coke was exiled from operating in India by a socialist government after a wrangle to gain its ‘secret recipe’. After a 16 year absence, neo-liberation policies in India allowed for its return in 1993 but to a very different cultural and economic landscape. India presented a number of challenges, most significantly its economic and cultural extremes which raise further issues for visual communication such as literacy and multiplicity of languages.

Adaptation to distribution in diverse conditions included use of branded rickshaws and pushcarts that could cope with congested urban streetscapes and an extensive network and hub system devised for rural delivery. In addition to this, local methods of visual communication such as sign-writing have continued to be commissioned by Coca Cola as seen in this collection of photos.

Meena Kadri