Coca-Cola is launching a global music platform to support emerging musical with the "Coke Studio" initiative as part of its "Real Magic" campaign introduced last year.
The program aims to bolster the careers of rising talents from around the world and bring them to the attention of a global audience. It is backed by a TV commercial featuring seven emerging artists of different styles and from different countries coming together to sing Queen's "It's a Kind of Magic."
The two-minute anthem film, "The Conductor," sees the artists perform the Queen track together in an epic mashup performance with an orchestra, brought together by a single maestro. The talents featured are Grammy-nominated American R&B singer Ari Lennox; British singer songwriter Griff; Turkish electro-pop producer Ekin Beril; Latin urban pop singer Mariah Angeliq; Nigerian singer songwriter and producer Tems; Canadian-Indian rapper and producer Tesher and K-Pop girl band TRI.BE.
Directed by Iconoclast's Pierre Dupaquier for BETC London, it was filmed at the National Opera House in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2021 and a message at the end pays tribute to the people of Ukraine. Nicolas Krauze, who is the principal guest conductor of Ukraine’s National State Philharmonic Orchestra, conducts the orchestra.
In addition to the film, each of the seven artists have also recorded their own versions of "A Kind of Magic" which, together with additional tracks and behind-the-scenes footage, will be accessible on a YouTube Hub. There will also be an on-pack activation called "Drink. Scan. Enjoy," in which consumers can scan a code on bottles and cans to access content, merchandise and more.
"Coke Studio" is an expansion of a platform the brand has had since 2008 in Pakistan, the Philippines and Africa. The decision to broaden it globally now came as a result of a strategy to build on the brand's "Real Magic" platform with experiences, said Pratik Thakar, head of global creative strategy and content, Coca-Cola, in an interview with Ad Age.
"Last year when we launched 'Real Magic' we looked at how we could create experiences for consumers," said Thakar. "Music is real, and it’s magic. It's a unifying force and it connects with Coca-Cola’s values. Coke is always connecting different cultures and bringing people together; music does the same thing. So, we saw a huge opportunity to take it forward and launch it globally, bringing artists from different parts of the world, mashing them up and creating this platform."
"The essence of the overall experience is to create experiences and music content that is enabling people around the world to come together at a time when we need to come together most," added Joshua Burke, head of global music & culture marketing, The Coca-Cola Company.
According to Burke, Coke was able to use the Queen track after securing a special licensing deal between Sony, Disney and Universal Music Group. The company worked closely with Universal Music Group on selecting the artists, five of whom are signed to that label. The other two are with Warner Music and Sony.
"We looked at artists who were buzzing and had a very special connection with their audience locally," said Burke. "We also picked artists that have a connection to the values of the brand. They are all very warm, collaborative artists with a lot of heart and a specific point of view and style."
The platform will continue beyond this year with new artists and new markets, and Coke also wants to place "more emphasis on connection and the collaboration between artists" in the future, Burke added.
Havas-owned BETC London worked on the film as one of Coke's strategic roster partners, said Thakar. WPP's bespoke OpenX team, which was appointed as Coke's global marketing network partner last year, is also collaborating on the wider project. Thakar said that BETC brings a "different type of creativity" to the project, and exemplifies Coke's strategy to bring "different types of capabilities within our ecosystem" via its strategic roster.