Coca-Cola Beyond Borders – An Analysis

The latest campaign from the stables of Coca-Cola is doing rounds on the internet and judging by the number of shares on twitter and facebook, it seems to be a hit with the masses. Built and executed around its tagline of ‘Open Happiness‘, the innovative campaign has managed to bring smiles to residents from India & Pakistan. 

Launched in early march this year, it involved placing two custom-made small vending machines at pre-determined locations in India (at a mall in the capital city of Delhi) & Pakistan (again, in a mall in the city of Lahore). Fixed with webcams, the machines used the innovative active-shutter 3-D technology, whereby the activity is filmed via glass and streamed live onto the same glass in real-time. 

Result: Residents on both sides were able to see their ‘neighbours’ and connect via the machines.

Interactive messaging on the machine like ‘Do A Dance’, ‘Connect The Dots’ & ‘Join Hands’ were used to engage consumers on each side in return for can of free coke. Freebies aside, what really captured user emotions were the similarities in display of emotions they experienced whilst completing the various actions. I guess in more ways than one, this campaign enabled residents on each side of the border to see that barring regional and religious identities, we’re all humans who experience happiness, sadness, elation, triumph, defeat etc in pretty much the same way. A brilliant masterstroke from the brand, especially in recent times where relations between the countries on a political level have been strained. It is campaigns like these that allow people to really get in touch with the real emotions of the population of each country and lessen the communication gap.

Although done on a relatively smaller scale (one machine on each side) for the size of the countries involved, this campaign will go a long way in etching the brand name in minds of all those who came close to seeing it in action. A positive brand association, and especially one that manages to invoke feelings of peace, happiness and longing, in my opinion, goes a long way in building and maintaining customer loyalty than frivolous ads that simply aim at brand reinforcement targeted at different age groups. It’s a clever idea, deeply rooted in emotions, executed well.

Do campaigns like this one work? Yes. Can or should we complain about any of it? Not really. Sometimes it is better to focus on the human aspect and ignore the commercialness of such campaigns.
Iconic brands such as Coca-cola are already etched in our minds; for them it’s no longer about creating campaigns to promote the name. For them it is about creating the right emotion for people to associate with their products.

Would be interesting to see if Coca-Cola can take this idea global. 
Next target – Israel & Palestine? Or America & Iran? Lets wait and watch.

See Beyond Borders in action –

Read a breakdown of ‘Beyond Borders’ campaign Here

Read more about ‘Beyond Borders’ and other marketing and advertising cases from Coca-Cola Here 

The No-Job Scene

I reside in a country and more so in a region that is famous for getting work done through their network of contacts. Meaning work is easier done when you apply the ‘who’ instead of the ‘what’ you know button. Hence, it is not difficult to imagine what a tough task it must be to land a good job, one where you can work with a brand that you actually admire and are passionate about.

Two disastrous jobs later and having been in the job market for the last 8 months, i have had my share of disappointments and things not working out. And believe me, I am this close to giving up altogether. I don’t think i even know what i really want anymore. You try and apply for a specialist position but no that’s not what people really want. Nowadays everybody wants to hire candidates who can do a bit of everything and are still able to excel at everything. To top that off, salary is another point that you might have to negotiate on. People may frown upon street bargaining but it exists everywhere and more so in corporate offices where you have to bargain to get your own worth.

I often wonder where do writers of movies and Tv Shows set in corporate environments get inspiration from. Certainly not from real life. Coz in reality, nobody gives you a job if you just saunter in. Nobody will look at you twice if you possess no company or market knowledge. And for sure companies will will think thousand times before hiring you especially if you’ve been fired from your previous job.

Clearly this isn’t my time in the professional arena, two years and truckload of bullshit later, here i am, a masters degree holder, still desperate for a job which i know i deserve and one where my intelligence is put to better use than being a yes-duck to annoying seniors and useless line managers.