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The real thing comes to life -- again

I'd like to buy the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That's the real thing

What the world wants today
Is the real thing...

So goes the one of the most successful jingles – and television commercials in history – by the world’s first and oldest beverage, Coke.

The spot begins with a blonde woman, eyes clear blue, lip-syncing the strange lyric. The camera pans across rows of young singers smiling with the rising sun—Spanish, Swedish, Nigerian, Nepalese, dressed in a dashiki, a kimono, a dirndl, a Nehru, a turtleneck. Together they lip-sync, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” Each holds a green glass hobble skirt bottle in their right hand, one branded in English script, the next in Arabic, another in Thai. “I’d like to buy the world a Coke,” they sing, “and keep it company.” The camera pulls up to an aerial view, revealing 200 singers aligned on a green hillside like an open fan, a youth chorus of the world.

The hilltop commercial was first aired on July 8, 1971 and the first that Coca-Cola shot in full color. Conceived during the fall of 1968, the Real Thing commercials would incept the drink into a new dream of America, in which divisions between young and old, counterculture and mainstream, Black and white, poor and rich, liberal and conservative had been resolved. 

The jingle would come to be known as “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” But for a growing up kid like me at that time, who had no access to television and relied on the radio, it stuck to my mind as ‘the real thing’ – minus the coke drink itself, either because we were not allowed to drink cola as a youngster or we don’t have purchasing power for a luxurious item such as softdrinks at that time. Of course, we had Coke on special occasions and whenever family relatives visit my parents.

Since then, Coke and its partner advertising agency have been sending teams of photographers and art directors into the great land, which is America, to capture—or to stage—slices of American life far from the cultural battlefronts, eventually creating Real Thing images that included teenagers taking a break from fixing a roof, a boy and a girl dancing in a wheat field, a young woman cutting her husband’s long hippie hair. It included also two close-ups of a black family, a mother and daughter and a father and son, both parents enjoying a bottle of the brown sugary stuff. The jingle concluded, “Coca-Cola, it’s the real thing, like friendly feelings.”

Spanning generations and 130 years later, since its first sales at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, in May 1886, coke is still known for its poignant images, making the cola drink a part of every day’s life in more than 200 countries around the world.

Tasting the Feeling throughout the world
In January this year, the legacy of Coca-Cola continues as it unveils another powerful, global synchronized campaign  – celebrating moments made more special with the simple pleasure of drinking Coke. Rolled out first in Paris in January 19, the campaign features the newest tagline “Taste the Feeling.”

“Every day, millions of people around the world reach for an ice cold Coca-Cola,” said Marcos de Quinto, Chief Marketing Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “The new global approach is a powerful investment behind all Coca-Cola products, showing how everyone can enjoy the specialness of an ice-cold Coca-Cola, with or without calories, with or without caffeine.”

“Taste the Feeling makes Coca-Cola the hero of our advertising again. The new campaign is all about capturing both the functional and emotional traits of Coca-Cola – the uplifting refreshment of drinking our product and how having a Coke makes any moment more memorable and more special,” says Stephan Czypionka, Vice President for Marketing, CocaCola Philippines.
Anchored in the fundamentals of the Coca-Cola brand - the Spencerian script, the red disc and the iconic glass bottle - the creative campaign brings a new visual and auditory experience for the consumers, still featuring authentic and real moments.

Poignant stories come to life again through a series of ordinary moments linked by a Coca-Cola, such as ice-skating with friends, a first date, a first kiss, and a first love. Coca-Cola also unveils a new audio signature that makes use of the sounds that have long been attributed to drinking Coke: the opening of the fridge, the unmistakable fizzing on ice, the cheers and clinking of glasses, the quenching sip, and the irresistible ahhh at the end.

Aside from the traditional media: print advertising, out of home billboards, in-store tarpaulins, the new campaign imagery will also be used in digital media. The shareable and customizable interactive digital experience is made up of different GIF scenes that reflect feelings associated with drinking Coca-Cola. The experience allows users to pull a GIF scene directly from the microsite, personalize the scene with real-time feelings, and share it on social platforms with #TasteThe Feeling.
“We are introducing a new approach to continue the brand’s long legacy of great visual storytelling,” said James Sommerville, VP Global Design. “The photography features human moments that blur the boundaries between who people are and what they love to do. In all the creative, Coca-Cola plays a lead role in the scene, enhancing the color, texture and emotion of the images. Every interaction is unique and made more special through the enjoyment of a Coke.”

During the Philippine launch, Coca-Cola unveils their newest ambassadors, headlined by the country’s hottest love teams such as Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, James Reid and Nadine Lustre, Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, Enchong Dee and Janella Salvador, and Bailey May and Ylona Garcia.

As part of the campaign in the country, Coca-Cola will also go around some of the biggest colleges, universities, and tambayans  to turn more ordinary moments extra special. One of the biggest activations that teens should look forward to is the roll out of the Coca-Cola Emoticons – a cool and fun way of tasting and sharing the feeling of drinking Coke with buddies and friends. Exciting activities are also lined-up for the rest of the year including giving out millions of free Coke “to make millions of moments special.”

“Taste the Feeling” replaces “Open Happiness” which has been used by Coca-Cola for the past seven years.


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