Coke brings new single global design to Australia as variant looks killed off

Coke has called a halt to brand fragmentation across its lines in Australia with the launch of a ‘One Coke’ strategy which brings the colour red back to the centre of its design.

Coke has launched the biggest design change in 130 years

Coke has launched the biggest design change in 130 years

Faced with the prospect that the master brand would be eroded in the supermarket aisle by the year 2025 as the number of variants for the soft drink the company grew, the brand last year embarked on the biggest design shift in its 130-year history aiming to make Coke stand out.

At the centre of the shift is the return of the red disc featuring the italic and iconic Coca-Cola logo, which will now be central to all of Coke’s design and marketing around the world.

The design has already been introduced in a number of markets including South-east Asia and rolls out across Australia later this month, nearly a year after it was first announced.

The disc was first introduced in the 1930s and became a central element of  Coke’s marketing for more than 50 years, before the brand started to subdivide across offers such as Diet Coke and Coke Zero – which were marketed with new colours such as silver and black.

The project has been headed by James Sommerville, vice president of global design, who first began working with Coke through the design agency, Attik, which he founded in the UK in 1986.

Sommerville said that over the years the brand had become too fragmented and as competition on the supermarket shelf grew between rivals – and Coke’s own brands – it was time for the masterbrand to take control of the overall look and feel of the brand again.

“The Red Disc, which has become synonymous with the brand, first appeared in the 1930s and became the inspiration behind the biggest redesign in Coke’s history,” Sommerville said.

“When applied across packaging, retail, equipment and experiential, this new approach becomes a global design language that utilises the Red Disc icon to present the range of Coca-Cola products available today in a contemporary and simple way.”

The red disc has been been part of Coke's look since the 1930s

The red disc has been been part of Coke’s look since the 1930s

Coca-Cola Australia marketing director Lisa Winn said the various colours currently across Coke’s products had failed to capitalise on the connection consumers had with the red Coke disc.

“Over the years with the launch of Diet Coke and other varieties like Coke Zero we have drifted away from ‘Coca-Cola red’,” Winn said.

“It’s our signature colour that is synonymous with great taste and refreshment. We realised we were in danger of losing our iconic colour in a sea of other colours like silver, black and green, and we knew we needed to reclaim it as an icon of our brand.

“That’s one of the primary ideas behind the new design and the global One Brand strategy.”

The red disc will now become a central element of Coke’s packaging and marketing, with Coke designers working in a “skunkworks” in the US continuing to evolve the new design.”


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