Coca-Cola’s signature can has dropped its label for a new marketing campaign in the Middle East. Released in conjunction with Ramadan, the new special packaging features Coke’s classic white ribbon without the brand’s name. The backs of the cans read, “Labels are for cans, not people.”
As part of the campaign, Coca-Cola released a YouTube video in which the company gathered six men in a dark room to guess one another’s appearances based on their hobbies and occupations.
When the lights came on, the men’s prejudices were shattered. No one expected the cognitive psychologist to have a face full of tattoos, nor the extreme sports athlete to be sitting in a wheelchair. The video ends with the men unveiling the new can design.
“In the Middle East, a region with over 200 nationalities and a larger number of labels dividing people, these Coca-Cola cans send a powerful and timeless message that a world without labels is a world without differences,” said Dubai-based FP7/DXB, who created the new promotion.
Called “Remove labels this Ramadan,” the promotion is part of Coca-Cola’s larger “Let’s take an extra second” campaign, which encourages people to rethink their prejudices in order to overcome them.
The campaign exemplifies a current trend of incorporating social activism into marketing. Dove, Starbucks, Nike and other companies have attempted to capitalize on social advocacy via recent marketing campaigns.
The messaging is a humane big idea. The logo-free package makes a powerful statement from a global brand. Yet, just as powerfully it enforces the impact of design to branding. You don’t need the logo and the name to recognize that it’s Coke inside. The colors and the ribbon are enough.