Marketing & Media Interview South Africa

EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola brings 'Real Magic' in first new campaign since 2016

In September this year, The Coca-Cola Company unveiled a new global brand philosophy and platform called 'Real Magic', which invites everyone to celebrate the real magic of humanity. The brand also launched "One Coke Away From Each Other," its first global campaign since 2016 under the 'Real Magic' platform.
Coca-Cola Africa’s marketing vice president, Diego Recalde
Coca-Cola Africa’s marketing vice president, Diego Recalde

We find out more from Coca-Cola Africa’s marketing vice president, Diego Recalde, who shares the company’s strategy on the campaign and share insights on the key lessons learnt in the past 18 months that have resulted in the launch of the campaign.

The Coca-Cola Company recently launched a new global ‘Real Magic’. Could you tell us more about this?

Sure! In September, we launched our new global brand philosophy and platform called Real Magic, which invites everyone to celebrate the real magic of humanity.

This new philosophy refreshes our brand’s trademark promise, which has existed for over 100 years, – to unite and uplift people all over the world in the everyday – with renewed relevance for the world in which we live today.

The Real Magic philosophy will sit at the heart of all of our marketing activity across the Coca-Cola brand and the platform will house many different campaigns and expressions in the years to come.

Real Magic marks the first new global brand platform for Coca-Cola since 2016 and it’s been launched with a new visual identity for Coca-Cola packaging, as well as a new perspective of our iconic Coca-Cola logo.
For the last few weeks, our focus has been on launching this platform across Africa, with successful launches in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Tanzania. We are very enthusiastic about how Real Magic will be received by our bottling partners, our customers and consumers on the continent.

How does Real Magic connect with your consumers and is this a change of strategy by Coca-Cola?

That’s a good question. Real Magic is built from lessons of the last 18 months: that we can find the magic all around us when we come together in unexpected moments that elevate the everyday into the extraordinary. The platform is not necessarily a major departure from what we’ve stood for in the past. In fact, it still captures the essence of the Coca-Cola brand, whose long-term brand philosophy and belief encourages people to indulge in a sense of community and to view life with a renewed sense of purpose.

With Real Magic, we aim to increase the Coca-Cola consumer base through an ecosystem of experiences anchored in consumption occasions, such as meals and breaks, and merged with consumer passion points like gaming and music.

You’ve talked about the change in the Coca-Cola logo. What do you aim to achieve with this?

Let me provide a little bit of context. To start with, it’s a new perspective to our iconic logo vs. a new logo. For over 100 years, the Coca-Cola logo has always proudly hugged our product across our Coca-Cola packaging. Now, inspired by its appearance on our product, we are elevating the curvature of our iconic logo “hugging” the packaging to embrace culture, humanity and authenticity in the same spirit.

EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola brings 'Real Magic' in first new campaign since 2016

Our Coca-Cola ‘Hug logo’ allows the brand to embrace moments of Real Magic that give us the same joyful feeling as a taste of delicious Coca-Cola. With this simple visual device, we are celebrating the Real Magic in key cultural moments, as well as highlighting and sharing the Real Magic moments in our everyday lives.

Coca-Cola also announced the launch of ‘One Coke Away From Each Other’ campaign. Talk to us about the campaign.

‘One Coke Away From Each Other’ is the first marketing campaign under the Real Magic platform. Blending real and virtual worlds, “One Coke Away From Each Other” is a metaphor that speaks to the belief that what unites us is greater than what sets us apart and celebrates our common humanity.

The campaign is built for and with a community that demands something different than what you may have come to expect from Coca-Cola. In venturing into gaming, we’ve partnered with Twitch, in one of the biggest partnerships ever with the platform, leading gaming influencers and with others to find our place in a reality unlike any we’ve known before.

We launched a film that’s now available on digital asking consumers what if Coca-Cola, as a symbol of togetherness, could bridge universes meant to be apart to create Real Magic. The film also features three well-known gamers – DJ Alan Walker, Team Liquid’s Aerial Powers and Average Jonas.

Coca-Cola partnered with advertising agency BETC London to create the “One Coke Away From Each Other” campaign, as well as leading film director Daniel Wolfe and gaming and CGI specialist production partner Mathematic.

You’ve talked about a partnership with Twitch and gamers for this campaign. Is this Coca-Cola’s entry into the gaming space?

A: The partnership with Twitch is about Coca-Cola engaging meaningfully with its audiences in places where they are already and in ways that bring them excitement and joy. The Coca-Cola Company has been an active supporter of e-sports for many years, with partnerships across the gaming industry that connect us more closely to the passions of our consumers. One Coke Away From Each Other is a continuation of that exciting story.

As one of the biggest brands globally and on the continent, why is it important that you introduce new and fresh campaigns?

To continue being relevant so we create value and can continue building long term relationships with people. The changing lifestyles and preferences of our consumers, the way society evolves, the development of new and exciting communication channels, the rise of new opinion leaders, with great influence over their online communities – all of these represent inspiration and opportunities to innovate. We rely on the fresh spirit of our team and the creativity of our partners, always trying to innovate, setting higher standards as we transform how consumers engage with the company and our brands.

What’s next with Real Magic especially with the festive season upon us? What should your consumers across Africa expect?

Real Magic is a long-term brand philosophy and platform for Coca-Cola. This festive season, we are introducing “Real Magic at Christmas”, our first Christmas campaign under the new Real Magic brand philosophy for Coca-Cola. As Coca-Cola finds its way to the holiday tables of families and friends, we want to celebrate the real magic of community and togetherness that is synonymous with the season.

“Real Magic at Christmas”, which is rooted in a simple message of festive joy and inclusion, features a short film supported by a series of digital activations. The campaign reminds us that all we need for a magical Christmas is shared moments with the community and the ones we love.

We are also bringing back our iconic Christmas caravan in many of our African markets, to bring back the feeling of a magical Christmas.

With Real Magic, how much is global inspiration and how much is local?

This new platform was built with a global team – people from every corner of the world including Africa. They came together to work with each other and our agency partners to build a platform that is relevant across the world. This platform is as local as it is global.

How has a Coca-Cola consumer in Africa changed during the years? If so, how?

Overall across the world consumers are looking for more from brands – more value and more experiences. In Africa, we’re following the consumer, just as we do as a global company. Whether it is by diversifying our portfolio, to provide consumers with options for their diversified needs and lifestyles, or by integrating the latest technology trends into our communication campaigns, to harness young audiences’ appetite for exciting tech experiences. Digitalization is also a trend we’re embracing, and this has been reflected in our campaigns.

We are evolving as a total beverage company through initiatives that enable us to respond to changing consumer tastes, needs and buying patterns. We see an opportunity in being more innovative with our category expansion agenda in dairy, nutrition, juice, and plant based to complement our portfolio and grow our business in Africa.

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