Coca-Cola Malaysia brings on board Reggie Lee to create "The Merdeka" cans

Coca-Cola Malaysia is bringing one of Malaysia's top artists Reggie Lee (pictured third from left) on board to launch a set of "The Merdeka" limited edition cans in commemorating the country's 60 years of independence. Launched on 22 August, The Merdeka edition Coca-Cola cans feature a set of four drawings in Lee’s unmistakeable style that depict popular topics among Malaysians - food, public holidays, badminton and a sense of community.

Coca-cola said Lee’s unique style often includes messages of unity and inclusiveness and it was these traits that made him an ideal partner for one of the world’s largest beverage companies, which has been present in what is now Malaysia since 1936.

“Lee’s insight into local culture complemented with his talent to bring them to life through his drawings made him the ideal partner for this Merdeka project and we are certain that Malaysians can relate to the series of cartoons he has created. This is a significant occasion and we have produced these commemorative cans to remind everyone of what makes Malaysia special,” said Ahmed Yehia (pictured second from left), country manager for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei for The Coca-Cola Company.

Lee, who is also one of the cartoonists involved in contributing the popular caricatures for Penang's Marking George Town project, is also known for his dry humour, as well as his takes on current issues and social commentary.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be part of Coca-Cola’s Merdeka campaign this year. I never dreamed that I would be so honoured by this request to have my cartoon characters on the cans of Coca-Cola. I intend to share my very first one with my mother back in Penang as she will be ever so proud of her son whom she thought might never amount to anything,” Lee said during the launch.

“My work over the years has always been to showcase the Muhibbah spirit of Malaysia, that we are a nation of people who celebrate our differences and bond over our love of good food and a good laugh. So, to be able to do this with Coca-Cola is an exceptional honour,” Lee added.

Available nationwide, the Merdeka edition can be found on the Coca-Cola Classic and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar cans.

In mid-July, the company entered a new deal with Zouk Kuala Lumpur to become its new beverage partner for a period of three years. As part of the partnership, Zouk will serve beverages such as Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Sprite, Heaven & Earth Jasmine Green Tea and Schweppes Ginger Ale. This will also see Zouk promoting Coca-Cola Zero Sugar on its in-house TVs and social media platforms.