Using both its packaging and its iconic billboard sign in Kings Cross, Sydney, Coca-Cola has put its brand behind the YES campaign for same-sex marriage in Australia.
The trend to use beverage containers for taking a stand on social issues is on the rise, in recent months there have been a number of sassy and strong statements voicing an opinion on a craft brew or six. And when mega brands like Coca-Cola put their mouth (voice) where their money (brand) is, it demonstrates their confidence in the power of packaging as the billboard in the hand of the consumer.
As of yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Coke cans are rolling out into the market, sporting the word LOVE in the recognisable Coca-Cola font, with the ‘o’ in love depicted as a rainbow heart. And of course it's a limited run, so that will only add to the excitement, driving publicity for the brand and sales of the cool beverage at a heated point in the debate that is stirring up the nation.
And in Sydney, Coca-Cola's landmark billboard sign in Kings Cross now sports a large rainbow painted Coke bottle overlayed on a collage of ‘yes’ graphics.
At night, the Coke sign will flash in multiple colours until the deadline for people to return their ballots expires in early November.
While the beverage giant recognises there may be a risk of alienating some consumers, it's one Coca-Cola is prepared to take. The company stated it has long supported equal rights and has always stood up for diversity, inclusion and equality.
It has also worked very hard at establishing rapport with its customers through packaging that engages and delights - you need look no further than the Share-a-Coke phenomenon that continues to roll out in new iterations around the world.
Indeed, when it comes to packaging creativity, Coca-Cola gets a firm YES vote.