In a bold move to kick off the new year, The Coca-Cola Company is rolling out a creative campaign that weaves together the diverse threads of its extensive product portfolio with the warmth and excitement of family gatherings. This innovative initiative marks the first time the iconic beverage brand is showcasing its entire array of products in a single advertisement.
Alex Ames, the Director of Content and Creative Excellence at Coca-Cola North America, shared insights into the campaign’s creative evolution. Traditionally, discussions around the brand’s portfolio have centered on sales and marketing strategies. However, under the visionary guidance of Coca-Cola Chief of Marketing Shakir Moin, the team aimed to go beyond the conventional and evoke emotional responses from consumers. Ames explained, “We’re really looking to tell the story of that perfectly imperfect family, similar to the perfect family of products that we have at Coca-Cola, and once we started unpacking that, that is where the magic happened.”
The genesis of this imaginative campaign emerged from collaborative dialogues with Majority, a diversity-focused creative agency integral to Coca-Cola’s OpenX collaboration with global marketing giant WPP. The agency, in which WPP acquired a 30% stake last year, played a pivotal role in conceiving the central theme. The idea was to extend Coca-Cola’s role as a sponsor for major events like the Olympics and the World Cup into the intimate setting of homes, positioning the brand as the “proud sponsor” of significant moments in people’s lives.
The culmination of these efforts materialized in the form of “New Guy,” a captivating advertisement directed by Christopher Storer, the creator and showrunner of Hulu’s acclaimed series, “The Bear.” Known for capturing the vibrant chaos of imperfect yet endearing families, Storer lent his unique touch to the 30- and 90-second versions of the ad. Drawing inspiration from a second-season episode of “The Bear” titled “Fishes,” which focused on a chaotic Christmas dinner, the advertisement seamlessly blends the essence of family gatherings with Coca-Cola’s diverse product range.
The creative concept presented by Majority combined elements of “The Bear” with the narrative spirit of Homer’s “Odyssey.” In a stroke of serendipity, Coca-Cola was able to collaborate with Christopher Storer, one-half of this inspiring formula, through its production partner, Smuggler. Reflecting on this fortuitous collaboration, Ames expressed, “Homer died over 2000 years ago, so to be able to work with the other inspiration in Chris Storer was just an incredible stroke of luck.”
“New Guy” unfolds the relatable experience of introducing a new partner to the family for the first time. The advertisement skillfully captures the pandemonium of a holiday family gathering – from the aroma of food wafting from the oven to children running around and the background hum of sports on the TV. The central character, the “new guy,” navigates through the merry chaos, dispelling mistaken assumptions about his height and culminating in a firm handshake with the family patriarch.
In essence, Coca-Cola’s latest campaign transcends conventional marketing strategies, aiming to create an emotional resonance with consumers by intertwining the charm of family moments with the diversity of its product offerings. “New Guy” not only captures the chaos of family gatherings but also reinforces Coca-Cola’s position as an integral part of these cherished moments, embodying the spirit of togetherness and celebration.