Coke made a diversity play in the 2018 Super Bowl, albeit with a lighter touch than in its spot four years earlier depicting "America is Beautiful" sung in languages from Hindi to Senegalese ("It's Beautiful").
The marketer puts just as manuy diverse faces in the 2018 ad for its flagship soda brand, created by Wieden & Kennedy, but it uses an original poem by an agency staffer that's more about Coke than anything that could be seen as political. It markets the soda as suitable for everyone regardless of race, background or beliefs.
The Coke-as-unifier theme might have been tough for some viewers to swallow in a cynical era, especially as soda brands deal with sales headwinds amid health concerns. But Coke execs said the spot sticks with the brand's ethos of promoting optimism and inclusion, going back to the "Hilltop" spot in which the brand famously sought to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.
Celebrating diversity and togetherness is "a message that we have communicated over time," Brynn Bardacke, VP of content and creative excellence for Coca-Cola North America, told Ad Age. "What's most important to us is that we communicate these values in a ways that are brought to life with some integrity based on the creative creative idea, and less about whether or not those things are going to create divisive talk."
The business strategy behind the is to promote different varieties of Coke for different kinds of people in all kinds of occasions.
It sticks with the so-called "one-brand" strategy introduced in early 2016 under the "Taste the Feeling" campaign that plugs multiple Coke varieties, from regular Coke to Coke Zero, in single ads. Coke adopted the approach to grow its customer base even as the soda category contracts. The strategy also involved selling smaller package sizes that are more profitable on a per-unit basis. But the ad puts a new twist on the campaign, adding the line "Enjoy Yours," which emphasizes customization.
The poem was authored by Wieden & Kennedy copywriter Rebecca Wadlinger, a graduate of the University of Houston's PhD program in poetry, according to her website. Coke ran a text version in ads in USA Today and the New York Times and plugged the spot in social media by interacting with individual users. People that clicked the heart symbol on a Coke tweet with the ad got a reply, for example.
Coca-Cola Co. also ran a spot in the game for Diet Coke, which recently began a new campaign promoting new flavors and slim cans ("Groove"). Super Bowl LII marked the company's 12th consecutive big game.
AGENCY: Wieden & Kennedy
QUARTER AIRED: Q4