The new strategy sees the beverage giant’s three Coca-Cola variants—Classic, Light and Zero—united under a single brand identity, with a move away from executing multiple brand campaigns.
‘Taste the feeling’, was unveiled in January with Ogilvy New York, Sra. Rushmore of Madrid, Santo of Buenos Aires and Mercado-McCann of Argentina taking the lead globally. It takes the place of the 'Open happiness' marketing tagline, which has been in use for the last seven years.
The localised rollout of the campaign, slated to be executed throughout 2016, is being handled by Geometry Global (creative), Social@Ogilvy (digital) and MediaCom (media).
The brand held a joint Singapore/Malaysia launch event on 11 March for Coca-Cola staff and members of the media. The event was simulcast across Singapore and Malaysia with Brunei tuning in, and also marked the 80th anniversary of the company’s operations in Singapore and Malaysia.
It was officiated by Gill McLaren, general manager of Coca-Cola, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, and Stephen Lusk, chief executive officer, Coca-Cola Bottling Investments Group, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.
Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific at the launch event, McLaren said that the new positioning is about offering choice to consumers, to decide which Coca-Cola suits their taste, lifestyle, and diet.
She added that while consumers in Southeast Asia may have seen many taglines over the years, ‘Taste the feeling’ goes beyond a change in marketing direction by placing the company’s products front and centre in every piece of creative, and is part of a larger move to unify brands and extend the equity of the main Coca-Cola brand.
“This change in our overall business approach will see an increase in our investment to market all Coca-Cola trademark products across the portfolio,” she said.
McLaren declined to share how much the company was spending on the new brand campaign but said that it’s “the biggest campaign” that will be executed in both Singapore and Malaysia and will run for the rest of the year.
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Across Malaysia and Singapore, the campaign will be brought to life through a number of elements, including:
The lead television spot, currently playing in both Singapore and Malaysia, will be “Anthem,” by Mercado-McCann. The soundtrack is an original song created for the campaign and titled “Taste the feeling”. Coca-Cola worked with Music Dealers to write and produce the song. In Malaysia and Singapore, the song features the voice of newcomer Conrad Sewell, a London-born, Australia-raised singer was featured in the breakout single “Firestone”.
Continuing a partnership he’s had with the Coca-Cola Company since 2014, Avicii has also produced a remix of the “Taste the feeling” anthem (below), which will be featured in subsequent commercials.
The anthem also includes a new audio signature, which the brand said is inspired by sounds like the pop of a bottle cap and the fizz of a carbonated drink. The signature will be used throughout the campaign.
The digital component of the campaign features a microsite where users can select from a series of GIF scenes, personalize their choice with real-time "feelings" and share it on social platforms with #SyoknyaRasa or #TasteTheFeelingSG.
In both markets, an on-ground roadshow will feature a 'Taste the feeling' truck, which can be transformed into a special café and is outfitted with a Coca-Cola Bar and a DJ console.
“There’s more to come,” she added. “In addition to shooting the creatives with ASEAN talent [see the photo gallery above], there’s a heavy digital component to our marketing efforts in addition to the outdoor and activation elements.”
Shrenik Dasani, marketing manager for the sparkling category at Coca-Cola, said that the campaign’s showcase of “moments” holds universal appeal, and distills the brand’s position into a simple proposition.
McLaren added that marketing efforts specific to the brand’s 80th anniversary will be launched in the latter part of the year, with current focus on the rollout of the new branding.
“It’s going back to those everyday stories," said McLaren. "That’s always been there if you go back to our historical catalogue. Coca-Cola has always been about small universal moments and experiences.”
She added that while ‘Open happiness’ was an iconic, stylised campaign that did its job, the new campaign is less a top-down reaction but more of a “groundswell movement”, sparked by a return to the fundamentals of the brand.
“What’s the core of Coca-Cola and what it’s about?" she asked rhetorically. "It’s about the taste and the feelings that come with it, which needed to come together. That’s the simple truth to all of this.”