Coca-Cola's new packaging in China targets young segment

In its latest attempt to appeal to young Chinese customers, Coca-Cola China has unveiled a new label design on its packaging to feature the young segment's own language codes.

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The campaign was launched as part of Coca-Cola's summer campaign in collaboration with McCann Worldgroup Shanghai. The new packaging, dubbed "code bottle", is decorated with different emoticons and phrases that the younger segment in China create and use on a daily basis.

It also debuts with two films that will run on both TV and digital platforms. The stories focus on friendship and romance, two themes which appeal to Chinese youth. The first spot, "Friend Hunt", stars Chinese influencer Lu Han, and follows his journey of using code bottles to connect with friends.

The brand will also be introducing limited edition Lu Han bottles with special codes and packaging, to grab attention from his 32 million followers.

A second film will be launched in mid-July to feature a young couple’s relationship journey, from the first time they met, to their first date, first kiss, first fight and first break-up, and ultimately how they reconcile over a bottle of Coke.

Shelly Lin, marketing director of Coca-Cola China, said the brand and agency realised in the campaign research that language goes beyond simple communication, and that the dynamic young segment in China are creating their own styles of communication actively to express feelings and establish connections.

"Our challenge was to go beyond the traditional passion points like music and film, which we have done before,” she explained. The brand therefore nailed these language codes as the authentic connection point to enhance communication.

Cia Hatzi, McCann Worldgroup regional vice president for Coca-Cola added, "The codes include more than just emoticons, but also numbers mixed with characters and graphics. When communication involves feelings and emotions, we can turn conversations into real connections, which is the role Coca-Cola can help facilitate.”

The code label designs will be launched nationally and activities such as product placement and TV show sponsorships will also be introduced the same time to enhance campaign influence and facilitate social conversations.