Live Olympic represents my first major campaign in marketing. Marketing Drive [Toronto] was responsible for the national Olympic program for Coca-Cola’s in-store marketing initiatives. The Olympics was considered one of the most important sponsorship events in Coca-Cola’s portfolio. There was tremendous pressure to bring to life a program that highlighted Coke’s sponsorship of the games, but also connected it with the consumers at home, and back again. The look of success represents a majority of the pieces created for the main program, and the art direction here was deployed out to many specific channel programs and independent ad.
What’s important to note about this work is that it represents a real struggle with branding initiatives. Coca-Cola is incredibly protective of their brand, and with good cause. As one of the most recognizable brands worldwide, Coca-Cola goes to extraordinary lengths to keep identifiable icons like the Coca-Cola wordmark, the ‘Swoosh’, and even the droplets intact. Although in subsequent programs with them you can see a relaxing of these standards and a shift in thinking to modernize these icons into current advertising programs, this program had to work very hard to get legal to approve changing the swoop into a band representing the golds, silvers and bronzes of the games.
While I don’t think this is the first time the brand has allowed itself to be affected as such, I do believe this, in conjunction with the work on iCoke at the time, went a long way to relaxing the standards for Coke’s brand protection, much to the success of the subsequent campaigns.