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The Evolution of Coca-Cola

In May, Coca-Cola Great Britain appointed Kris Robbens (previously western Europe’s brand director), to marketing director as the brand looks to launch more products to keep up with changing consumer habits. Robbens, who has spent the last 15 years at Coca-Cola, has led the development of Coca-Cola’s ‘one brand’ strategy, accelerated sales of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and managed campaigns including ‘Share a Coke’ and the UEFA European Championship activity in 2016.

With the brand looking forward to an exciting future, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look back on some of their previous campaigns. Here’s an overview of our favourites:

Share a Coke

Back in 2013 and 2014, Coca-Cola swapped their famous logo with the UK’s most popular names. It sparked a sharing frenzy across the country and quickly became one of the brands most successful marketing campaigns.

Coca-Cola state, “Share a Coke is about taking our global brand and making it personal to our consumers, giving them the chance to Share a personalised Coke with friends or loved ones and creating special moments of happiness and memories.” In total, more than 150 million personalised bottles have been sold with over 730,000 glass bottles personalised via the e-commerce store.

We love this campaign is because it connects people. It’s personal and brings people together.

I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke

Considered by many as “the world’s most famous ad”, Coca-Cola’s television advert “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” was released in 1971. We love this advert for a number of reasons but mostly because of the story behind it.

Bill Backer, who worked on the Coca-Cola account at advertising agency McCann Erickson, when the advert was made, flew from New York to London in January 1971. The flight was diverted to Ireland due to heavy fog in London and many passengers were angry. Later, Bill saw the same frustrated passengers laughing and sharing stories over bottles of Coke. He believed the Coke was symbolic of a small moment of pleasure, allowing people to share happiness. Motivated by the scene, he picked up a napkin and wrote, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.”

Eventually, the ‘Hilltop’ advert was born and still to this day is referred to as one of Coca-Cola’s best-loved adverts. Just recently it was ranked by ITV as one of the top 10 ads of all time.

Holidays Are Coming: Coca-Cola Christmas

It wouldn’t be right not to include this iconic advert. Made in 1995, the Holidays Are Coming television advert features illuminated lorries known as ‘Christmas Caravans’ decorated with images of Coca-Cola Santa on the side of each truck. Just before the ad ends, Santa raises his bottle of Coca-Cola in a holiday toast.

The familiar Christmassy sight, with twinkling Coca-Cola trucks and a snowy landscape, epitomises Christmas. It doesn’t feel like Christmas until we hear those jingle bells.

What’s your favourite Coca-Cola advert? Tweet us @zeroabove.

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