Over a year ago, the Coca Cola brand launched their new drink product, Coca Cola Life, which offered a lower calorie option for more health conscious consumers. How it differs from Coca Cola’s other variants, is that it has a third fewer calories and is also naturally sweetened. The purpose of introducing Coca Cola Life was to meet the needs of changing lifestyle trends. In James Quincey’s words, Coca-Cola Europe’s president, “It provides people with great tasting, lower calorie cola sweetened from natural sources.” Although the Coca-Cola brand holds significant weight worldwide, a year of marketing Coca Cola Life brought in a whopping $31.5 million in sales.With the ever-changing consumer behavior geared towards growing concerns for sugar and obesity, Coca Cola’s most recent campaign is one of their most creative campaigns to date.
In Denmark, an Ad agency, Essencius, launched a teaser campaign for Coca-Cola Life that targeted a very specific audience in the Denmark Population – 5% of the population, to be exact. The campaign features a design of greenish-brown bubbles to 95% of the population, however; to the remaining 5%, you will see a hidden message. This type of design is called a reverse Ishihara image where only color-blind people are able to see the hidden message laced into the design. In this case, color-blind people saw the word “Life” nestled within the design.
Coca-Cola Life’s reverse Ishihara image went on to be shared in digital ads, social media, and in department store sampling sessions. This approach reached more than 17% of the Danish population and generated substantial earned media. “Our idea is based on the premise of engaging many by targeting few,” explains Brian Orland, managing partner at Essencius. He went on to say, “Surprising people and getting them curious about the hidden message in the campaign has had a great impact on the engagement rate.”
Does anyone remember #TheDress that pretty much broke the Internet as people debated over the color of its fabric? People either thought the dress was blue and black or white and gold. Coca-Cola’s Life teaser campaign could have easily been a play off of this trending topic.
In some cases, the Coca-Cola Life teaser campaign could have easily offended people. As the world is experiencing more “politically correct” environments, it would not be surprising if people considered this campaign to be exploitative or offensive as they are leveraging unique qualities or perceptions of specific groups for commercial gain. Fortunately for Denmark, there was no controversy, but rather, a high-level of interest and engagement.