How JWT Brazil and Dolby Captured the Iconic Sound of Coke Being Poured Over Ice

The refreshing crackle of pliers snapping a VHS

When it comes to creating the sensation of being inside a Coca-Cola while it's being poured over ice, sound is everything.

That's why JWT Brazil partnered with Dolby for a new cinema ad featuring Coke, and the resulting spot will soon be featured in place of the sound system's usual pre-movie promo.

To deliver the heightened sound of fizzing soda and crackling ice, JWT worked closely with Dolby and its latest system (Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound), which, of course, is a powerful differentiator between seeing movies in theaters and at home.

Beyond marketing Coke, the ad was intended to illustrate the all-enveloping power of Dolby's system and capture the best aspects of theater-going. That's a lot of heavy lifting for a 60-second piece of film.

Here's what they ended up with:

The agency and a sound producer cracked VHS tapes with pliers and crushed plastic cups to mimic ice cracking and bubbles fizzing, respectively, said Ricardo John, chief creative officer at JWT Brazil. Then they'd send recordings of the sounds to Dolby's San Francisco-based engineers, who, in turn, would make suggestions and send them back.

The verisimilitude of the final piece hinged on attention to such details. All told, it took about eight months to complete.

In a video about the making of the ad, Coca-Cola Brazil marketing director Macelo Pascoa said the goal was to trigger sense memories that in turn would drive movie goers to the concession stand. "The sound inside the experience of drinking Coca-Cola is one of the most important triggers to bring up people's effective memories," Pascoa said.

The rich colors and extreme close-ups of Coke being poured over ice were shot from the perspective of a Coke bubble.

Coke is "doing a lot of efforts about the contour (of its logo), doing some beautiful ads about it. But for me, sound—it's a very iconic aspect of Coke as well," John told Adweek. "And the best way to highlight sound is in the movies, in the cinemas, because we would never reach the kind of experience you would want without the ritual of the cinemas."

The extreme close-ups of cracking, glistening ice and the reverberation of fizz are bound to make even hardened movie goers thirsty.

To place the ad, Coke bought time from four theater chains. The spot will start running next week in more than 1,100 theaters and continue through late July, according to a JWT representative. That total represents about half the theaters in Brazil, and Coke is talking to other chains about expanding the reach.

Here a look at how they made the ad:


Agency: JWT Brazil
Client: Coca-Cola
Title: Dolby
Chief Creative Officer: Ricardo John
CIO: Mauro Cavalletti
Head of Art: Fabio Simões
Creative Directors: Enoch Lan, Santiago Dulce
Art Directors: Rodolfo Garcia, Pablo Lobo, Marcelo Monzillo
Copywriters: Fernando Duarte, Hiroito Gomes
Producers (ArtBuyer, RTV, Graphic, Digital): Márcia Lacaze, Daniele Pizzo
Account Managers: Felipe Giacon, Stefano Paduan
Project Managers: Thiago Segundo, Daniel Rybak
Media: Stella Lopes, Beatriz Luna, Ligia Mattos
Planning: Fernand Alphen, Gisele Bambace
Client approval: Javier Meza, Adriana Knackfuss, Marcelo Pascoa, Paloma Azulay, Juliana Assad
Composition: Ruriá Duprat
Music production: Ruriá Duprat, Eduardo Santos
Dolby's team: Carlos Watanabe, Alex Sobral
Film Producer: CLAN vfx
Sound Producer: Banda Sonora
Mix and Recording: Eduardo Santos, Marina Santana, Márcio Amaral
Account: Rosária Santana, Dudu Santos
Sound Producer: Estúdio JLS & UpMix
Producers: José Luiz Sasso, Ricardo Bertran, Toco Cerqueira
Account Production: Bia Ambrogi
Guidon's team: Guto Guidon, Tabida Barrionuevo, Edielson Aureliano, Eduardo Rocha, Pedro Jafet, Giovanni Asselta, Nick Viana