Cannes Creative Showcase: Can you hear Coca-Cola?
With 126 years of rich sensorial advertising, what can Coca-Cola do next?
There’s an effect that happens in our brain called synesthesia. It’s when two senses cross in our brains, producing the impression that you’re sensing one thing even though you’re stimulated via another.
So, with this in mind, how could they take the next step in reminding people of Coca-Cola’s iconic-ness?
Coca-Cola made the first audible visual campaign ever. It’s a campaign that blurs the lines between print and radio, to create a brand experience that only Coca-Cola could create.
The campaign is a series of macro photographs of iconic Coca-Cola rituals (the uncapping of the bottle, the fizzing of the soda, and the opening of a can) that challenge the viewer to play the sound in their head. They inevitably produce this sound ourselves in our brain because years of Coca-Cola’s sensorial memory help us associate the image with the sound – even if the viewer isn’t hearing anything.
The campaign starts visually, but it’s completed in people’s brains when they produce the expected sound in their own heads. Coca-Cola is turning people’s heads into radios to emit the sounds from within.
The best way to remind people of Coca-Cola’s iconic-ness is by targeting and provoking anyone and everyone who has had a Coke in their life. Whether it was the fizzing of the Coke or the opening of a can, they used these instantly identifiable rituals to bring back memories that are attached to the 126-year-old brand.
The call to action gently challenged their target audience to “not” hear these ads, but because Coca-Cola is so iconic, they inevitably heard the image they looked at.
While brands today are fighting over “sonic branding” by trying to trademark specific sounds, they simply tapped into people’s most inner memories of the brand to own the sounds. The Coca-Cola experience.
The Coca-Cola “Hear This” campaign was released across three European countries in a variety of newspapers, magazines, bus stops, and billboards in mid-April. It was also released throughout Coca-Cola’s social media channels, where people were given a platform to vote and discuss whether they heard the ads or not.
Everyone who has had a history with the Coca-Cola brand has been able to listen to the “Hear This” campaign. The campaign achieved 85,824,390 impressions.
MARKETING magazine is the Official Cannes Lions Festival Representative for Malaysia.