How Does Coke Make Private Messages Appear on Its Bottles in Taiwan?

Here's a Clue: Paper or Plastic? It's All About the Label

Published On
Oct 15, 2014

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Coca-Cola and McCann Taiwan are delivering a new twist on the brand's global "Share a Coke" campaign. This time, secret messages on bottles are only revealed once people start drinking from them. How do they do that? You would suspect clever technology at work, but in reality the trick was using a plastic label instead of the typical (in Taiwan) paper one, so Coke was able to print a message on transparent material, said Gary Chi, McCann Taiwan managing director. When the bottle is filled, the message isn't visible, though people who want to gift one to a friend can see it if they tilt the bottle slightly. That way they can choose which message they want, like "You're so hot" or "So cool." Coke is offering 24 messages popular with Taiwanese teens, and some labels allow people to write personal messages on them.

The "Private Message Bottle" campaign started last month. Mr. Chi said initial response is promising, especially given that carbonated beverages have strong competition from tea and water in Taiwan. He said it's likely other markets might adapt the campaign. Other "Share a Coke" initiatives, like swapping the brand logo on Coke bottles sold in stores with common local first names, which started in Australia, have gone global.