The new brand strategy of Coca-Cola

Feb 11, 20160 comments

A critical (sound-) analysis of the campaign ‘Taste the Feeling’


Better hear than listen?

Music was always pivotal in the brand communication of Coca-Cola. Beside some classics as “First Time, First Love” by Robin Beck (1988) and “Holidays are coming” by Melanie Thornton for the christmas campaign of 2001, the brand always used jingles like Coke is it! (1986) or Always Coca-Cola in 1993.

Have a look at the videos

First Time, First Love by Robin Beck (1988) [su_youtube url=””] Holidays are coming by Melanie Thornton. [su_youtube url=””] Coke Is It! from 1986 [su_youtube url=””] Always Coca-Cola from 1993. [su_youtube url=””]
With the start of the Open Happiness campaign in 2006, Coca-Cola consequently developed a sonic ID. In the following year this acoustic signature became part of some popular hits like 2010 “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan for Soccer World Cup in South Africa or “The World is Ours” by David Correy for the World Cup 2014 in Brasil.
The concept behind was simple but effective: 5 notes that finished nearly every commercial appearance of the brand and have been embedded in different songs and applications. Although it has only been used for the core brand, it became a strong part of the brand Coca-Cola during the last 8 years.

With the beginning of this year Coca-Cola announced a new One Brand Strategy. And again music is playing an important role. DJ Avicii (Tim Bergling) developed a music title for Coke, which is meant to be used in different versions throughout brand communication. Also they announced a new Sonic ID.

The new Audio Signature [su_audio url=””]

We have listened carefully:

The song is likeable and clearly flows with the Zeitgeist but we believe it will be short lived.

The sonic ID utilises the product sounds of a bottle opening and pour, connected with a sung promise: ’Taste the Feeling’.

We hear more of a jingle than a sonic ID. This limits the reach, penetration and power of sound to emotionally connect the consumer with the brand of Coca-Cola. A jingle is far less flexible than a sonic ID in establishing a consistent ‘voice’ across sonic touch-points such as point of purchase and cobranding integrations.

Also, the effect of embedded branding, the usage of a sonic ID in different songs used successfully in subtle ways for the Soccer World Cup 2010 and 2014, cannot be realised with a jingle. The use of the bottle opening and “fresh” product sounds will not help, for these are not novel and not exclusive.

There has been no strategic approach to interdependencies between sound, music and brand, in this work.
Last but not least, it has not been used consistently in all new brand films.

Arousing surprising and effective (sonic) key stimuli is only possible with a cohesive sonic ID designed to work across multiple touch points that embodies the voice of this brand. Unfortunately, it is not possible with this Jingle.

Of course a brand like Coca-Cola will get heard. Their new musical appearance in film, TV, in combination with Avicii’s brand will get some attention, but we predict this campaign will be short lived and the sonic ID will not retain resonance over the long term.



Taste the Feeling Campaign

Here you can see all at this time available videos:


Coca-Cola Songs – Coca-Cola Deutschland 11.11.2013

Happiness Kampagne – Finding True Happiness – Coca-Cola USA 2014

Share a Coke story – Matthew Hepburn Coca-Cola UK

Taste the Feeling Kampagne – Coca-Cola USA 2016

One Brand Strategy – Matthew Hepburn Coca-Cola UK

The Sounds of ‘Taste the Feeling’ – Jay Moye 19.01.2016 Coca-Cola Company