Coca Cola Dubai have launched a new range of promotional cans during Ramadan in an effort to raise awareness against prejudices and promote a world of equality and tolerance. The new can has been stripped of all branding, with an exception of the iconic red can and ribbon. This anti-branding approach has been used in a clever way to highlight that “labels are for cans, not for people“.
Anti-branding – what does it mean for packaging?
It’s refreshing to see a powerhouse brand use it’s most valuable asset and sales tool, their can, to promote a cause they have always have as part of the value set, Humanity & Diversity. The Middle East is a region with over 200 ethnicities, where prejudice and labelling people regarding race is commonplace. Coca Cola’s efforts in stripping away their own label sends a powerful message that society should keep labels where they belong, on brands, rather than on people. I don’t think packaging designers have anything to fear right now, as Coca Cola is one of the only brands in the world who could strip bare their identity and still be recognised.
The campaign is part of their recent anti-prejudice Global campaign “Lets take a second” that encourages people to get to know one another before casting a stereotype or prejudice on a person.
Coca Cola’s statement on Diversity “America the Beautiful”
Coke’s strong stance on diversity and inclusion was brought to my attention for the first time in 2014 when their Superbowl ad featured iconic patriotic American song “America the Beautiful” sung by Americans from all different backgrounds, race and creed, singing the lyrics in multiple languages. The brand message was clear, America’s diversity is one of it’s most powerful assets. Unfortunately the ad sparked an embarrassing backlash from some ignorant US citizens on social media criticising Coke for not showcasing Americans in their ad. I was really impressed by Coke’s response and defiance to counteract racism and Xenophobia.
America is beautiful and Coca-Cola is for everyone. “It’s Beautiful” was created to celebrate Coke moments among all Americans who together enjoy ice cold, refreshing Coke. For centuries America has opened its arms to people of many countries who have helped to build this great nation. “It’s Beautiful” provides a snapshot of the real lives of Americans representing diverse ethnicities, religions, races and families, all found in the United States. All those featured in the ad are Americans and “America The Beautiful” was sung by bilingual American young women.
We believe “It’s Beautiful” is a great example of the magic that makes our country so special, and a powerful message that spreads optimism, promotes inclusion and celebrates humanity – values that are core to Coca-Cola.
Director of Brand Projects