Coca-Cola embraces unauthorized street-art versions of its logo in global campaign

The print and OOH effort launches today in Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Australia and the U.S.

Published On
Mar 28, 2024
Billboard in Mexico City showing a handpainted Coca-Cola sign

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Brands are usually so protective of their visual assets. But Coca-Cola goes the other way in a new campaign that raises up unauthorized street paintings of its iconic logo.

The insight here is clear: Unofficial interpretations of the Coke logo have been painted by shopkeepers around the world for years. There’s an authenticity to these artistic creations—they reflect how ubiquitous the brand is worldwide. And the amateur renditions bring a level of charm and creativity that official brand work in some ways can’t match. (It also feels like a bit of a rebuke of AI.)

Out-of-home and print ads featuring photos of the street art break today in Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, and the U.S., including Coca-Cola’s marquee placement in New York Times Square.

The theme is, “Every Coca-Cola is welcome.”

Billboard showing street art of the Coca-Cola logo

Billboard showing street art of the Coca-Cola logo

Street art images of the Coca-Cola logo

The campaign will expand to other touchpoints, including a video content series on YouTube and Instagram, profiling the store owners whose designs are being featured. The designs were also featured on cans gifted to the business owners, as seen in the short videos below.

 
 
 
 

The campaign was developed by WPP Open X, led by VML and supported by Essence Mediacom and Ogilvy PR.

It’s the latest example of an iconic brand using its ubiquity and iconicity as a creative trigger. Other brands that have done this in the past include McDonald’s France, with its ultra-minimalist signage, and Heinz through campaigns such as “Draw Ketchup” and “Ketchup AI.”

“It’s been incredible to see the unique and individual interpretations of the Coca-Cola logo,” said Islam ElDessouky, global VP of creative strategy and content at Coca-Cola. “These visuals are so meaningful and impactful. Signs for local businesses capturing colors of cultures and personalities of communities. We’re proud to celebrate and embrace their work.”

“What is so special about this campaign is that the Coca-Cola brand is being reinterpreted in every corner of the world through countless creative expressions,” said Rafael Pitanguy, deputy global chief creative officer at VML. “And these reinterpretations are only possible because the Coca-Cola logo is so ingrained in culture across the globe.”