Going through the holiday season without Coca Cola is close to unimaginable. This brand became sort of a synonym for joyful holidays ambiance.
Growing up in a family and an environment that cherishes variety of holidays and traditions was always interesting, especially when you are a kid. From Christmas cookies and presents, to Baklava for Eid, somehow we managed to have it all. I suppose this is one of the reasons why Coca Cola grew on me and became an essential part of that warm holiday feeling. They too managed to have it all!
It is not a coincidence that Coca Cola tends to be the first thing to think of during holidays. They have tried hard to brand themselves this way ever since 1931. They managed to use current events and pop culture and embed it into their ads that were appealing to a broad audience. Holidays of the western, modern society are all about family, presents, Christmas trees and, of course, Santa Claus. A lot of people don’t know that Santa Claus as we all know it today didn’t always look like this. In fact, Coca Cola is the one that helped shape Santa Claus. They turned it into one of the greatest symbols of winter holiday season. Now this is what you call a branding lesson!
Besides ads featuring Santa Claus, the brand managed to create one of the most successful campaigns of all times: “Holidays are coming!“. It celebrated 20 years of running in 2015 and it is one of the most memorable elements of their brand. Original ad of this campaign featured 3 large red trucks covered with 30,000 light bulbs, each. If you were wondering how did it look so magical and what effects did they use, it is enough to say that a company which is behind the Star Wars films (Industrial Light and Magic) was in charge of special effects. If this campaign was a person, in 2016 it would be legal in all countries, so to celebrate this, Coca Cola made one extra effort and gave an opportunity to the loyal consumers to participate and hop on a joyful truck ride.
Holidays are not only about Christmas and New Year. Coca Cola figured that in order to become a globally recognizable and beloved brand, you have to appeal to a variety of audience and play the emotional card. Proof of this is yet another holiday campaign. It was targeted to a different part of the world, and was also a huge success. During Ramadan in 2015, Coca Cola launched label-less cans. In this way they started a new campaign which was promoting label-free world during the holy month of Ramadan. Besides this, their global “Taste the feeling” campaign was adapted to celebrate Ramadan.
Coca Cola Sarajevo Holiday Market
On a global level, Coca Cola showed how storytelling and triggering emotions with consumers is one of the keys to a successful brand. Besides this, their efforts on local levels are a good case practice as well. So lets take the sleighs and get back to Balkans. This years winter holiday season in Sarajevo started with opening of, already a traditional, Sarajevo Holiday Market. For 6 years in a row, Coca Cola is sponsoring this holiday meet-up for citizens and tourists in Sarajevo. This fair is a result of joint efforts of Citizens association “ZUP” (Zona unaprijeđenog poslovanja) Baščaršija & Sarajevo Navigator Foundation. It emerged from USAID/SIDA FARMA Project and in cooperation with the City of Sarajevo. Another presentation of how “Think globally, act locally” works for major brands as well.
So, to kick off the holiday season in a proper manner, go visit your closest holiday market, take a photo with Santa and go write those NY resolutions. Let us all have a Happy New Year.