COCA – COLA: ‘THE COKE SIDE OF LIFE’

Ad/Campaign: Coca – Cola ‘The Coke side of life’
Agency: Wieden and Kennedy
Creatives: Al Mosely and John Norman

 

When it comes to advertising fast moving consumer goods, you can’t rest on your laurels. You aren’t only as good as your last campaign, you are only as good as your next campaign. To keep your brand in the lexicon it is imperative that you churn out bigger and better Ads with each fresh new campaign.
As a FMCG, the brand is constantly in front of the consumer, saturating their everyday lives. The advertising methods as well as the execution of the concept need to be innovative and make your audience sit up and take notice. Be a constant reminder you are out there. The demand may always be there for the supply but thats only relative to the aggressiveness of the market. You are wrestling with the competition for the attention of the consumer so those all important margins are constantly on the rise.
If you can win pride of place right slap bang in front of the consumer when they have your full attention i.e. during the Ad breaks of the super bowl (average audience of 111 million viewers) then congratulations. Mission accomplished.
Creative Directors Al Mosely and John Norman blew threw the doors of Wieden and Kennedy and hit the ground running with the ‘Coke side of life’ campaign.
Building upon Coke’s timeless and universal advertising USP of happiness and positivity, creatives had the perfect opportunity in an unstable, turbulent world of suffering and hurt to offer up an alternative side of life. The side of life that was championed by and one could associate with the drinking of a refreshing bottle of Coca – Cola.
A series of 3 ‘bottle’ campaigns was devised, all featuring humorous and innovative concepts that had kindness and warmth at their core. Originally these 3 films were to be aired as viral efforts, gently nudging a consumer unawares that happiness could be found at the bottom of a frosty coke bottle. The tender loving care and affection that went into the production of the Ad’s radiated out of them, so much so that all 3 made the covered slot at the 2007 Super Bowl. The concept of kindness and happiness translated well across a global audience. The Ads show no conflict of cultures and could be recognised universally.
The first Ad “The Happiness factory” was an epic animation short that finally exposed the ‘truth’ behind what happens behind the scenes when you put your money into the vending machine. A dreamscape sequence of weird and wonderful beings all working towards the same goal of delivering you your Coca – Cola. No attention to detail  too small, no effort too big. Directed by Nexus production’s Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, chosen because of their previous work on the epic scale of the Honda ‘Grrrr’ campaign, they imagined a world that took the production of a single bottle of Coke to epic scales juxtaposing the menial effort of the consumer dropping a coin into a vending machine.
The second Ad of the campaign that was dreamed up by W + K creatives Sheena Brady and Shannon McGlothin featured a CG spot that looked incredibly familiar to audiences around the world. Grand Theft Auto, the hugely popular and controversial ‘shoot ’em up’ video game that is instantly recognisable by its typically violent premise was turned on its head and given the ‘Coke side of life’ treatment. Twisting the audiences original preconceptions the Ad features a central character that heavily resembles the main protagonist of the game and follows him as he commits various acts such as apprehending a bag thief and sharing a bottle of coke with a passing motorist. Slickly choreographed the good deeds performed by the character become more erratic and flamboyant, at one point on dropping wads of cash into the case of a busker. The busker breaks out into song as the familiar ‘Coke side of life’ circus erupts and joins in with the Paul Williams song ‘Give a little love’. Turning the original violence of GTA on its head and making way for a succession of good deeds was a great way of connecting with a young audience that were already familiar with the concept of the game.

The third Ad ‘First taste’ played on the humorous concept that to taste Coke for the first time was to view life with a new and fresh perspective.  An old man in a nursing home travels the world ticking off wild experiences from an incredibly ambitious bucket list after his first sip of a Coke before asking himself “What else haven’t I Done?”
A question that creatives dealing in FMCG must be constantly asking themselves.

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