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Watch: 15-year-old Salman Khan’s first appearance on screen for Campa Cola ad

Screengrab from the Campa Cola ad which was Salman Khan's first appearance before camera

Today’s Salman Khan, the superstar who rules hearts of millions and has thousands including men, women and children, waiting for hours to catch his glimpse, faced the camera for the first time when he was just 15 years old.

It was in an advertisement for the popular cola drink, Campa Cola in 1983.


Campa Cola was made by Pure Drinks Group in the 1970s when Coca-Cola was banned in India in 1977 by the Central Government led by Morarji Desai’s Janata Party. Following this Pure Drinks, who had brought Coca Cola to India in 1949 started making Campa Cola which became a replacement for Coke.

To connect with the drink with the youngsters they hired Kailash Surendranath, a well-known ad filmmaker and son of Bollywood actor-singer Surendra Nath. Kailash is best known for producing “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara”, a unity in diversity song of 1986 which became immensely popular.

Having decided to make an ad to be partially shot underwater and the location Andamans for the film, Kailash zeroed on actors who were divers and swimmers. Following extensive research and auditioning he decided on Aarti Gupta (now his wife), Ayesha (now wife of Jackie Shroff), Vanessa Vaz, Shiraz Merchant, and Sunil Nischol. Wanting another male for the ad, Aarti Gupta who had seen young Salman Khan swimming, suggested his name.

Interestingly, Salman in a chat show had recalled how seeing Aarti at the Sea Rock Club, he swam the whole length underwater wanting to impress this beautiful young lady.

Aarti was indeed impressed and that got him the ad and that is how Salman Khan, the Bhai of today made his debut in front of the camera.