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Coca-Cola Unveils New Global Campaign and Brand Identity

by Rudy Sanchez on 10/01/2021 | 2 Minute Read

Collectively, humanity has more in common with each other than you might think. We all feel the same range of emotions, live the same experiences, and work towards similar goals. Despite all this, it also seems like humankind is as divided as ever. Even the most inane of debates like whether a hotdog is a sandwich can spark an intense and bitter dispute that devolves in grudge matches. Coca-Cola felt it was time to remind everyone of the magic of humanity with its latest brand strategy, “Real Magic.”

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Building on the recent packaging and visual refresh for Coca-Cola’s signature line of sodas, “Real Magic” comes at a time that the brand considers a societal inflection point as the events of the last year and a half have kept us apart (though hyperconnected virtually). A new wraparound “hug” logo gets added, courtesy of W+K London, and the Atlanta-based firm enlisted the services of KnownUnknown to connect with a worldwide network of creatives to develop the visual identity, including animation, photography, and illustrations.

“This is the most diverse visual representation of the Coca-Cola brand in our history,” said Rapha Abreu, global vice president of design for The Coca-Cola Company, in the announcement. “It is diverse not only in the creatives who helped bring ‘Real Magic’ to life and the people featured in the work, but also in the different photography and illustration styles, colors and treatments used.”

The first campaign under the new “Real Magic” direction includes the film "One Coke Away From Each Other,” produced with advertising agency BETC London, production company Colors Paris, director Daniel Wolfe, and CGI production specialists Mathematic. The spot bridges differences between adversaries of an online game, using Coca-Cola as a way to connect people even in the “metaverse” of digitally-enhanced lives. Folks that spend considerable time socializing online know how easy it is to forget there is another human on the other side of the screen with real feelings. While the web has always been a rough-and-tumble place, the last few years have been particularly divisive. Online animosity has fomented real hate that sometimes spills into meatspace with violent consequences.

Further venturing into the metaverse, Coca-Cola will be giving away gaming-related prizes, including one-on-one gaming sessions with celebrity gamers and Twitch.tv in-service currency (called Bits) that users utilize to reward their favorite streamers. The brand hid 25 codes in the “One Coke Away From Each Other” video, with additional ones unlocked during livestreams on Twitch.

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Can the power of Coca-Cola stop 12-year-old trolls on XBOX Live from disparaging your mother and calling you racial epithets? Probably not, but maybe “Real Magic” will remind the rest of us that we can disagree on stuff and still be nice to each other (looking at you, Karen).