Complete with an uninspiring colour scheme and borderline uncomfortable and suggestive advertisement that suggested the fizzy beverage would make you “Tingle”, Double Seven was a desi cola brand you might not know about, but definitely should.
1977 was a landmark year for India, this year marks the end of the Emergency and the downfall of Indira Gandhi’s government. A lot changed post the shift of power from the Congress to the Janata Party (as the BJP was known at that time). Double Seven’s inception was a result of one such change.
Meant “For The Good Times”, Double Seven was the Janata Party’s way of celebrating their victory and forever cemented by naming the drink after the year they took over – 77. With an elaborate launch at the annual trade fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, they presented Double Seven as a gift of sorts to the Indian population while trying to compensate for Coca-Cola’s exit from the Indian market.
The new government in power made it mandatory for all multinationals to partner with Indian companies, and Coca-Cola refused. They did not want to share their secret formula and as a result, vacated their position in Indian market. The cola-loving people of India were not happy. Double Seven was an attempt at making up for that, albeit not a very successful attempt, but an attempt nevertheless.
The end of Double Seven not so surprisingly coincided with Indira Gandhi reclaiming power in the year 1980. More than a strange tasting drink, this ‘Swadeshi Cola’ became emblematic of the events of its time. In our opinion, the alleged substandard taste of the government-manufactured drink can very well be overlooked thanks to the hilariously racy print advertisements, which are more than worthy of being framed and displayed on your bedroom wall.
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