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Sharing Happiness

3 min, 5 sec read
15:16 PM | 14 July 2013

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I have always been a fan of Coca-Cola as a brand. It has such a strong brand identity and it's been so successfully communicated to consumers over the years that it has achieved top-of-mind awareness. There are many Coca-Cola and Pepsi blind tests out on the internet that shows there is not much difference between the tastes of the two drinks. Essentially, if you strip Coca-Cola off its brand, it is just another type of fizzy drink. If you show them the brands, however, most people will grab the Coca-Cola bottle. This is the power of branding.

The reason behind my fascination towards the brand can be summed up in this quote from Coca-Cola:

“If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.”

What I admire most about Coca-Cola is that they are never content with just being good enough. Coca-Cola always comes up with new and unique ways to add value to their brand identity. Coca-Cola is famous for sharing happiness with the world at the core of its branding and marketing activities, and has used many different ways to communicate this to its consumers. In doing this, it has gone beyond the route of traditional and digital advertising. It utilises its distribution channels as well – the Coca-Cola vending machines (from the first vending machine made in 1929 to the innovative ones we see today).

Coca-cola has pretty much taken the conventional vending machine apart and assembled it back in the most imaginative ways. They have made it gigantic, and tiny. They make people hug it, and it hugs people. There is one thing, however, that they keep consistent across all of innovative vending machines – the idea of uniting people together to share happiness. These vending machines initiate conversations between strangers, both in the virtual and physical world. 

My most favourite Coca-Cola vending machine has to be the Small World machine created by Leo Burnett, Sydney. The machine was built around the simple idea of getting people in India and Pakistan to start communicating. The tension between India and Pakistan has affected the way people in both nations interact with each other. The machine acted as a live stream where people from India and Pakistan could put away the initial negative idea they have towards each other and communicate in every way possible - from a simple wave to drawing the peace sign together. 

Not only were positive attitudes created around the vending machine, there was positive attitude created towards the brand itself. Most importantly, it has succeeded in communicating the message to its consumers in a unique and engaging way.

This vending machine is also different from the other ones as it has been successful in communicating Coca-Cola's brand message internationally. Other Coca-Cola vending machines are often region specific, and encourage the interaction of the people only in that region. The Small World vending machine, however, extends the value of sharing happiness across two countries.

Brands are continuously coming up with new ways to communicate with their consumers. In trying to do this, however, they often forget that consistent brand message and strong brand identity are key aspects to consider when creating channels of communications.
Coca-Cola is a superb demonstration that with a strong brand identity at the core of its communications, it is possible to be creative in how you reach audiences. This is something that other brands should learn.

This article was written by futurerising contributor, Noviana Mona Chandra. Novi is currently studying advertising at Bournemouth University. 

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