Coca Cola: A global icon receives a makeover

Nic Crowther
Thu 21 Apr

You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.

All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.

         - Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol



No one has described the ubiquity of Coca-Cola than Andy Warhol. While the brand is sold in almost every country on earth (North Korea and Cuba being the only exceptions), there have been recent moves to rationalise the product’s branding.



This might come as a surprise. Surely the sweet, sweet beverage is instantly recognisable? Well, there has been fragmentation across the globe (In Europe, Diet Coke was known as Coke Light for many years). Now, under the ‘One Brand’ project, marketing and packaging have been streamlined



In the same way that Apple has streamlined its premium products to four colours (Silver, Space Grey, Gold and Rose Gold), Coca-Cola has done the same with packaging for its core range of drinks:

  1. Original – The classic
  2. Diet – with Nutrasweet
  3. Zero – with aspartame and acesulfame potassium
  4. Life – with stevia



The key element of the new packaging brings back the highly-recognisable red disc as the key feature, and utilising the red, silver, black and green as backgrounds for respective flavours.

Chief Marketing Officer, Marcos de Quinto, launched the new branding with typical marketing gusto. “We are reinforcing that Coca-Cola is for everybody,” de Quinto said. “Coca-Cola is one brand with different variants, all of which share the same values and visual iconography. People want their Coca-Cola in different ways, but whichever one they want, they want a Coca-Cola brand with great taste and refreshment.”



This shows a clarity of thinking and a drive to succinctly demonstrate the mega-brand’s key message of simplicity. As a highly-visual statement, it’s the sort of expression that Warhol would have loved.

If Coca-Cola can do it, then so can you. Perhaps it’s time to consider what your brand says to its customers?