Coca-Cola to shift focus from broadcast to experiences under new brand platform

Coke’s new tagline ‘Real Magic’ marks the first new global brand platform since 2016, as the company promises changes in the way it communicates.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has launched its new tagline – ‘Real Magic’ – as part of its refreshed brand platform, as it enjoys strong sales and profits.

The announcement follows second quarter results published in early July that saw sales volumes up by 18%, revenues up by 42%, and improved margins.

The brand has also introduced a “new perspective” on its famous logo, in the shape of a ‘Hug’. This sees the logo take on the wraparound shape of a can or bottle to create a visual signature that can embrace or frame consumer interactions with Coke.

The Coca-Cola Company president Selman Careaga says the new brand platform reflects bigger changes in the way the brand communicates. “We want to move away from primarily broadcast communications to create an ecosystem of experiences for our consumers and people everywhere,” he says.

“Through our campaigns we want to create more Real Magic – individual moments aligned to people’s passion points, aligned to culture and aligned also to our core, key occasion as a business, which is meals and having a break from work, school, your daily life.”

CMO Manol Arroyo says the refreshed platform renews the brand’s trademark promise, which is to unite and uplift people every day. He says the change is built on lessons from the last 18 months, and in the discovery that we can find magic all around us when we come together in unexpected moments.

“Coca-Cola is a brand defined by dichotomies: humble but iconic, authentic yet secret, real yet magical,” says Arroyo. “The Real Magic philosophy is rooted in the belief that dichotomies can make the world a more interesting place – a world of extraordinary people, unexpected opportunities and wonderful moments. At the same time, it captures the essence of Coca-Cola itself; a real taste that is indescribable, unique, a touch of real magic.”Coca-Cola revamps entire range as it sticks by unified pack strategy

The introduction of Real Magic represents the first new global brand platform for Coca-Cola since 2016. An element of inspiration came from the brand’s current packaging strategy, which the company says helped to shape the Hug logo.

The brand has collaborated with artists, photographers and illustrators to bring the concept of Real Magic to life, presenting their visions within the the logo’s embrace. It has worked with design partners including Wieden+Kennedy London, KnownUnknown and Kenyon Weston on the project.

“Real Magic is not simply a tagline or a one-off campaign. It is a long-term brand philosophy and belief that will drive and guide marketing and communications across the Coco-Cola Trademark,” says Arroyo.

The first campaign under the new platform taps into the growing popularity of gaming and eSports. Called ‘One Coke Away From Each Other’, it refers to the belief that what unites us is greater than what sets us apart. It features three celebrity gamers – DJ Alan Walker, Team Liquid’s Aerial Powers and Average Jonas – and tells the story of a gamer who bonds with their opponents over a Coke.

Various social, digital and out of home executions of the ad will run, with consumers in some markets invited to take part in gaming events through codes hidden in the ads.

“One Coke Away From Each Other has been built for, and with, a community that demands something different than what they may have come to expect from Coca-Cola,” says Arroyo. “In developing this campaign, we’ve partnered with the best creators, with gamers, with Twitch and with others to find our place in a reality unlike any we’ve known before. That’s tremendously exciting.”

The Real Magic tagline will feature in Coca-Cola’s Christmas campaign this year.