Coke Joins Patriotic Branding Boom With Flag Can
Coke is the latest brand dressing itself in Old Glory. The soda brand has begun selling limited edition red, white and blue cans that will be available in select convenience and grocery stores through July 4.
The cans also feature the patriotic song lyric "I'm proud to be an American." It is part of the ongoing "Share a Coke and a Song" program that launched in April and involves putting more than 70 popular songs on cans and bottles.
Coke's American flag can is aimed at recognizing its longstanding partnership with the United Service Organizations in honor of its 75th anniversary. The USO logo is featured prominently on the can. Coke plans to plug the partnership at the Coca-Cola 600 Nascar race this weekend. The brand will encourage fans to join the "Campaign to Connect," which involves sending thank-you messages to service members across the globe.
While patriotic marketing has long been part of many brands' playbooks, the use of American-themed packaging is on the rise this year. Marketers are motivated in part by the fact that this is an Olympic year.
Budweiser has rebranded itself "America" for the summer with special packaging.
Burnett's Vodka launched a "USA Party" edition. Smirnoff just announced a version called Red, White & Berry. MillerCoors-owned Keystone Light is promoting a "Stone Spangled Summer" program that includes patriotic packaging. Skittles is selling an "America Mix" of red, white and blue Skittles. Hershey has changed the silver lettering on its milk chocolate bars -- the first lettering change on that package in 122 years -- to red, white and blue. M&Ms has a red-white-and-blue version.
If this pace keeps up, buyers might have to salute each time they walk into a grocery store.