Coca-Cola is switching up its design packaging again as part of a new collaboration with American electronic music producer Marshmello. According to the brand, this is the first-ever beverage co-created with an artist and the cans feature striking black and white visuals and dripped Coca-Cola Spencerian script which pays homage to Marshmello’s signature aesthetic.
Marshmello toured the company's archives and co-creation workshop last year and doodled on whiteboards with Coke creatives. He also experimented with tastes crafted by R&D flavour scientists sipped through a custom-created straw to fit Marshmello’s trademark helmet, and brainstormed experiential concepts with brand and marketing teams.
The new drink fuses strawberry and watermelon flavours and will launch in US next month. It will be available in select countries globally and a zero-sugar version will also be on sale. Marshmello said: "We created a vibey blend of my favourite flavours in this all-new mix. I think it tastes amazing and hope fans love it, too."
To coincide with the flavour's launch in real life, an immersive Twitch takeover on 9 July allows fans to control Marshmellow in a livestream gaming adventure and gain exclusive access to metamerch designed by Zepeto. Beginning July 29, a scannable QR code will direct fans to the Coca-Cola Creations hub, where they can generate a unique piece of digital art while experiencing the feeling of listening to Marshmello’s new track, “Numb”.
This new flavour was done specifically in collaboration with The Coca-Cola Creations platform which debuted in February when the brand rolled out Coca-Cola Starlight, followed by the gaming and metaverse-inspired Coca-Cola Byte . In May, the brand also rolled out its Coca-Cola Starshine drink in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand with a unique packaging design featuring stars against a backdrop of galaxy pink bodied cans. Its digital-first marketing campaign is supported by a partnership with popstar Ava Max. Over the course of 2022 and beyond, the brand will launch limited-edition flavours, designs, and experiences will reimagine Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar across physical and digital worlds.
Oana Vlad, senior director, global strategy at The Coca-Cola Company, said from the beginning, the company wanted this to be a collaborative process that could come to life and feel as authentic to both brands. "Everyone rolled up their sleeves and had a lot of fun. Marshmello is known as a connector of fans, so our values are aligned," Vlad said.
She added that the novelty and unexpectedness of these innovations are driving curiosity and inviting people to engage with the brand, citing a spike in social media conversation, earned media coverage and Internet search traffic. "We’re also seeing that taking a more experiential route with our marketing through digital experiences, licensing partnerships and creative collaborations is a meaningful and fresh way to reach younger consumers," she said.
It is not new for F&B companies to partner with artists to come up with different flavours. In fact, McDonald's has been doing it with celebrity meals, partnering with BTS, Travis Scott, Saweetie, and J. Balvin. Separately, Coca-Cola also redesigned its packaging as part of its partnership with Jack Daniel's, bringing together the iconic logos of both brands that are set against a jet black backdrop. The latest drink was inspired by the classic bar cocktail and will be made with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and Coca-Cola. With its initial launch planned for Mexico in late 2022, the beverage will be available in markets around the world.
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