Friday, October 28

Coca-Cola Goes White

There is a short list of brands that seem to keep popping up not only in my blog but also in the minds of Americans as iconic brands, and certainly Coca-Cola is one of them.  I follow the cola wars religiously, and the beverage industry in general because there's great marketing initiatives coming from those brands all the time.

The latest is the new Coca-Cola white can, a project with the World Wildlife Fund to help save the polar bear, an icon of the brand since 1922.

The new can is meant to raise awareness and encourage consumer donations to help the WWF save the Artic region.  With every can purchased, consumers can text the special code from the packaging to donate an additional $1.00 to WWF ... Coca-Cola will match each donation until $2million is raised for the WWF.

This is the first time that the brand is walking away from its signature red packaging, but for good reason.  The polar bear's Artic home is in trouble, and Coca-Cola is not only uniquely suited to help, it's also a nostalgic part of the brand equity.

Signature Coca-Cola isn't the only brand to go "white" ... other Coca-Cola products will start to don white caps as well including bottles of Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, and Nestea.

You can find out more at the WWF's Artic Home webpage.

Brands like Coca-Cola take these kinds of signature changes seriously.  I love that Coca-Cola is taking a bold move to drive awareness and raise money.  A very positive initiative in the cola wars and the war against Global Warming.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect
Professor at NYU

I'd like to thank Frozen Sunshine for the inspiration of today's blog post.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Thanks Jim!
    We are really looking forward to watching the white coke can experience unfold in the coming months.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Good point Jim. Does the idea of raising wildlife awareness affect a buyer's decision to choose Coca-cola over Pepsi?

    Similar, I had a interesting conversation with a colleague about does being green or eco-friendly affect a buyer's decision to purchase the more expensive eco-friendly product? For example, the Toyota Prius.

    I guess marketers are trying to tap that emotional connection to wildlife or to polar bears to get the thing that most matters - our money.

  3. I can tell you that cause marketing is very influential with women and their purchase decisions. In general, consumers want to know how brands are giving back, and they want it to be sincere. For me, the cause should match the brand equity. Such a great topic of discussion. Thanks to Frozen Sunshine for starting it! Jim

  4. Interesting that today Coke decided to pull the cans. Way too much confusion between Diet Coke. People were buying this new white can by mistake, thinking they were getting Diet Coke. I did the same thing the other day -- bought three of them actually and didn't realize until I took my first sip. And I've been paying attention! Back to red. Jim

  5. Coca Cola sent me a tweet that they will be releasing limited edition RED cans with the polar bears in a few short weeks. Great turn around! Jim.

  6. That's very cool --- just saw on FB that CNN interviewed Peter Shankman this afternoon on this (wish they'd have asked you since you blogged on it before it even became 'news') But then again ... I am your groupie! ; )