Behind the Music: Coca-Cola Sings a Whole New Tune With 'Taste the Feeling'

Brand Goes Back to Roots With Jingle

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A new ad featuring a version of the "Taste the Feeling" jingle

This week, Coca-Cola said goodbye to "Open Happiness" and debuted a new brand campaign, "Taste the Feeling." With it, the brand has gone back to its musical roots with -- of all things -- a jingle.

The global push introduces the uplifting "Taste the Feeling" tune, featuring up-and-coming Australian pop singer Conrad Sewell. Coca-Cola teamed with music company Music Dealers to find the independent artists Scott Fritz, Jeremy Bircher and Josh Jones, who helped craft the tune, which was then further developed with Swedish DJ/Producer Avicii, a long-time collaborator with the brand.

"Sometimes people cringe at the word 'jingle,' which much of the time are funny, quirky songs, but a jingle is just a song with a brand message," said Coca-Cola Head of Global Music Joe Belliotti. With "Taste the Music," the brand "just took that formula of a song with a message and tried to create a pop tune with it. Hopefully years from now people will remember it like the others."

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The Coca-Cola anthem featuring the "Taste the Feeling" jingle

Mr. Belliotti said the jingle approach was inspired by Coca-Cola's storied musical history. "I went back to what Coke had done in the '60s and '70s and found things like 'Things Go Better With Coke' and 'Can't Beat the Real Thing,' songs that were performed by artists like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and The Supremes." (Ray Charles would go on to sing for Pepsi later in life.)

Mr. Belliotti and his team scoured hundreds of melodies before landing on the final one for the new campaign. "It was really about finding the one that brought to life the idea of 'Taste the Feeling' but could also be multi-dimensional."

Coke so far has released six spots in the new campaign, which touch upon varied themes. Outside of the anthem ad, for example, there's one featuring a passionate couple's break-up, another exploring the bond between brothers and a spot illustrating young people's personal struggles.

"There are a lot of different moments and feelings shown, and we wanted a song flexible enough to address those," said Mr. Bellioti. "The song we have is what stuck in our heads."

A new version of Avicii's "Hey, Brother" backs the "Brotherly Love" ad

Coke then shared the tune with Avicii, with whom the brand has partnered since 2011. "He loved it and felt like he could take it and give it some edge and personality in production." He also helped Coke pick Mr. Sewell to perform the song.

An acoustic, orchestrally-driven version of the song backs the anthem spot, and in March Coke will also debut a more modern twist of the tune, on which Avicii's personality will be more prominent, according to Mr. Belliotti. More versions, perhaps featuring other artists, will also debut with the brand's 2016 campaigns for the UEFA Euro and the Rio Olympics and hopefully, in the brand's holiday effort, said Mr. Belliotti.

The anthem jingle was just one part of the process. To punctuate the new campaign, Coke also created a new audio signature with Deviant Ventures, the company founded by the brand's former Global Music Marketing Head Umut Ozaydinli. The tag is an audio layering of all things Coke. "When you think about Coke from a sonic perspective, there are many sounds you can associate with the brand -- the bottle opening, the 'ahhh,' the effervescence," said Mr. Belliotti. "It has a rich soundscape, so we used that to create a soundbed. On top of that, we have Conrad singing 'Taste the Feeling.'"

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David Bowie and Queen's "Under Pressure" features on another new spot

The music in the campaign, however, goes beyond "Taste the Feeling," and playing the suite of new ads back to back feels as if you were listening to a fun song set on the radio. Other spots feature fresh covers of pop songs--including "Under Pressure" from the late David Bowie and Queen, as well as a folksy version of Avicii's "Hey Brother." The breakup ad, below, features a song "Made for You" from emerging artist Alexander Cardinale.

"When you introduce new campaigns and creative, you want the music to feel new to consumers too," said Mr. Belliotti. "Even if we're taking a new song like 'Hey, Brother' or a classic like 'Under Pressure,' we wanted to give it a new twist."