Central to what we do at BEAR is the belief that a simple, core idea can elevate a whole campaign or identity. A couple of Coca-Cola’s latest sustainability initiatives have done just that. To be specific, it’s the way in which they are tackling the problem of packaging waste that has captured our – and the public’s – imagination.
Perhaps the most well known of these initiatives is “2nd Lives”, a range of 16 caps to be screwed onto bottles once empty, transforming them into useful tools such as pencil sharpeners and paintbrushes. Coca-Cola will distribute 40,000 of these bottle caps in Vietnam and Thailand to encourage its customers to reuse plastic bottles, whilst providing them with tools that would be far more expensive otherwise (see video to the left).
“Botella de Hielo” (Ice Bottle) is a campaign by Coca-Cola Colombia that hands out samples of Coke to thirsty beach-goers. However, instead of using plastic or glass bottles, the drink is served in a bottle made from ice, with a protective red band that also doubles as a bracelet. Once consumed, the ice bottle simply melts away, with no waste whatsoever. The effectiveness of this campaign is also magnified, as for decades Coca-Cola has insisted that Coke is best served “ice cold”.
These two initiatives are both inventive packaging designs that improve Coca-Cola’s sustainability reputation and also a demonstration of how they continue to innovate in the world of design.
So much so, that Coca-Cola earned the 2nd highest overall ranking on the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study in April, which surveys 18,000 Americans to measure the reputations of the 60 most visible companies in the country.
The 2nd Lives campaign video in particular has been shared over 7.6 million times on Facebook, without the initiative being promoted through any other traditional channels. It is the integrity and simplicity of a beautifully designed idea coupled with the ease of sharing through platforms like YouTube and Facebook that give rise to these figures. And critically, this organic exposure carries a positive message.
To paraphrase Sir Richard Branson, it is increasingly important for brands to have purpose beyond profit in order to thrive. We at BEAR think campaigns like 2nd Lives and Botella de Hielo embody this sentiment perfectly.