How Coca-Cola defied pandemic clichés with rhyme and reason.
At a time when the media is flooded with noise and negativity, it takes a special piece of positivity to make people tune in and listen.
This episode explores behind-the-scenes of Coca-Cola’s Open Like Never Before ad. 72andSunny Amsterdam’s Laura Visco, Angelina Joy, Emiliano Trierveiler, & Eline Bakker provide first-hand experience of how they navigated the first big piece of communication for Coke after its pandemic-induced marketing hiatus.
Understand how their process unlocked three learnings, which harnessed the new normal in order to create something different;
1. Stay true to the brand DNA.
Coca-Cola is Coca-Cola, regardless of the way events unfold around the globe.
The team needed to trust the core brand traits, even when it was tempting to look around to see what everyone else is saying and doing.
“The role of their advertising has always been to uplift and bridge divides”, explains Angelina Joy, Brand Director at 72andSunny Amsterdam. “The strategic approach was that when the lockdown started to lift we would be there with a message of positivity.”
Having a history of positivity-led communications, and an established ‘Open’ brand sentiment meant that when Coke did break its advertising hiatus it had the authority to truly own the space.
2. Create with the future in mind.
When ‘unprecedented times’ makes itself the most rapidly rising communications cliché, how can you promote positivity without becoming banal?
“Ads come and go, but poems stay”, explains Laura Visco, Deputy Executive Creative Director at 72andSunny Amsterdam. Harnessing the power of mediums outside the advertising sphere meant that Coca-Cola could tap into relevance without slipping into the well-trodden ‘we’re with you’ messaging.
Coca-Cola also created relevance to ‘the now’ by looking to the future. “It’s an ode to positive thinking”, describes Joy. Instead of creating something that simply reflected a moment; the creative team focused on the idea of creating something which reflected a mindset—that being—a positive future is something everyone can take away from this experience.
3. Follow your emotional instincts.
You need emotion to move people, but to get them to pay attention on a platform like YouTube, you need to make them feel something.
“We wanted a voice that mattered to that moment”, Emiliano Trierveiler, Creative Director at 72andSunny Amsterdam explains. In order to build a connection between the brand and the customers and respond in the right way, the creative team needed to feel their way through the global moment.
But with the pandemic unfolding in different ways in different parts of the world, a uniform approach wasn’t a complete solution.
“Each individual market and each individual country will be experiencing their version with a meaningful connection to that community”, expands Trierveiler, as different regions were served different versions of the creative, unique to their location.
Making emotionally charged work means instincts need to drive creative decisions, as the team behind Open Like Never Before discovered. And the way in which it changes the work and the process? Well that’s just something everyone has to be open to.