Coca-Cola emphasises the human connection in new Olympics campaign

Coca-Cola emphasises the human connection in new Olympics campaign

With a history of sponsoring the Olympic Games dating back nearly a century, a lot rides on Coca-Cola’s Olympics offering, and leaning into human connection is a smart play.

Coca-Cola made its Olympic Games’ entrée at 1928’s Amsterdam Olympics, becoming the official beverage sponsor, marking the start of the longest continuous partnership in Olympic history. Over the years, its presence grew, and at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Coca-Cola played a significant role in the commercial success of these Games, helping to set new standards for Olympic marketing.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics saw the brand pivot towards sustainability initiatives, with marketing strategies such as the "Coca-Cola Olympic Pin Trading Center". The 2012 London Olympics, meanwhile, was chosen to focus on youth engagement with the "Move to the Beat" campaign, combining music and sport to inspire a younger audience.

Paris 2024 is now nearly upon us, and Coca-Cola has unveiled the "It's Magic When the World Comes Together" campaign to celebrate the "Real Magic" of human connection, emphasising inclusivity and cross-cultural unity at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The global campaign was developed by WPP Open X, led by Ogilvy, and supported by EssenceMediaCom, VML, and Hogarth.

This angle of the ad reinforces Coca-Cola's iconic ‘hug’ motif, highlighting the power of sport to unite people and celebrate their differences.

Inspired by historic moments of unity at past Olympic Games, the campaign recalls events such as the 12 swimmers hugging after the 4 x 100m relay at Tokyo 2020 and John Wing's 1956 letter to the IOC advocating for all athletes to join together at the Closing Ceremony in Melbourne.

The centrepiece of Coca-Cola's new brand film is a hug between swimming champion Tatjana Schoenmaker and fellow athletes Lilly King, Kaylene Corbett, and Annie Lazor, reminiscent of Schoenmaker's record-breaking moment at Tokyo 2020. These "Real Magic" moments will be featured across various media, including OOH, dynamic social media content, and newly designed Coca-Cola cans.

In the campaign film, Tatjana Schoenmaker sees King, Corbett, and Lazor in Paris 2024, walks over, and embraces them in front of a cheering crowd. This touching moment inspires a woman in the audience, who embraces a vendor, sparking a ripple effect of hugs throughout the stadium, Paris, and the world.

The campaign will feature real-time "Hug Cam" content from Paris 2024, broadcast across social channels, and a new "Embrace Can" design. When two cans are placed together, they form an embrace, with purchasers having the chance to win prizes and unique merchandise.

In France, Coca-Cola has collaborated with artists Laura Normand, Aurelia Durand, and Bruno Mangyoku on exclusive can designs, with their stories amplified across OOH, social media, and point of sale.

Our take

The spirit of unity, impossible challenges and celebrating our differences is a rich well from which to mine for engaging content because these are just a few of the authentic reasons why the Olympic Games has endured for centuries.

Coca-Cola does well to capture the scale of the event, its jeopardy, and how this spirit touches mere mortal humans who face humbler, but similarly life defining challenges everyday. The ‘love thy neighbour’ message is a simple, feelgood vibe to approach Paris 2024 with, and one that’s endured longer than the competition itself.

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