It’s been 35 years since the Coca-Cola Company has been present in China. The company’s re-entry in China in 1979 followed the country’s economic opening after the Communist Party’s takeover. During the three decades of communism there were no foreign brands on Chinese soil. What existed of the Coke’s bottlers in 1949 were nationalized, and turned into the beverage of elites, which one could found at a few remaining exclusive hotels, if lucky enough.
Today, China is the company’s third-largest market, after the US and Mexico, respectively, to be its biggest any day soon. To create the company’s newest the Coke Lyric bottle campaign, Coca-Cola partnered with Isobar, a digital marketing agency. The new campaign features a QR code on the Coke bottle which can be scanned in WeChat in order to activate a short clip of the same lyrics on the bottle. Once scanned, the song can also be shared with friends on WeChat and other social platforms.
Coca-Cola has been taking advantage of social media and digital technology to help consumers connect with the brand, which ultimately increase sales. Isobar is calling these new digital objects ‘Musicons’, for musical emoticons. “The new ‘Musicons’ are to songs what tweets are to blogs. Sometimes a soundbite says it better,” said Tim Doherty, chief creative officer of Isobar China.
Embedding lyrics on Coke products is the new addition this year, following last year’s Nickname Coke campaign in China, where consumers had to decide which nickname to give to which person – “whatever nickname bottle you received, signaled how people identify you”, added Doherty.
Typically, a smartphone is used as a QR code scanner, displaying the code and converting it to some useful form (external Web site or social media page), where brands can exhibit a mix of content that showcases product use, perks or contests.
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Camilla G.//SMC Editor