Coca-Cola's grown tired of happiness, and is moving on to magic. As one does.
In "Taste the Magic," a new spot by agency David, a waiter approaches a table that's ordered an unusual amount of Coca-Colas. (Really, nobody wanted anything else?) A woman tells him she didn't order a regular Coke. No problem! Before her eyes, he transforms it into a Coca-Cola Zero.
It turns out this is no ordinary waiter. This is Justin Flom, a resident Las Vegas magician and social media star.
"Do it again!" another guy at the table commands.
Flom is so down, reciting his lines like they're actually the way people speak: "I feel you want the crisp taste of Coca-Cola, without calories. So I'll give you Coca-Cola Light."
That little gender reversal is interesting: Zero has historically been marketed to men, while women prefer Light (called Diet in the U.S.), which also has stronger associations with the fashion industry. This subtle shift is magic we weren't expecting!
All of the the tricks are performed entirely in front of the camera. Watch the rest of Flom's Coke transformations below.
He goes on to turn another Coke into a Coca-Cola Life, which we didn't realize anybody drinks, and, because the normal Coke is the brand's stronghold, we end with a lady finding one in her handbag. It's fun for the whole family.
In addition to benefiting from Flom's social media presence, Coca-Cola is using the magician's act as a pretext to remind people of its different low-calorie options. (It also nicely serves to explain what the difference is between them.)
"50 percent of Coca-Cola's communication will be aimed at its original variant and the other 50 percent at the low and no-calorie options," reads an accompanying pressie. "This means that in 2016, Coca-Cola will have invested four times more in these options compared to 2015."
You may also have noticed that the packaging is subtly different, with Coca-Cola's red disc taking precedence in all variations of the product. This is part of Coke's new "One Brand" strategies to pull the disparate offerings closer together. Flom also uses a red disc-shaped coaster in his first table trick, subtly reinforcing that association, and brings it back for the ending, which introduces the fresh new iconography.
That's a lot of change to wiggle in, so it's apt that transformation is the topic the ad plays with. What better way to change your identity than by magic? You have less to explain that way, and getting people to focus on the magician, instead of the new branding, may redirect them from other awkward conversations they could be having instead.
The campaign will include product sampling—the better to taste the nuance of Stevia-enriched Life?—and digital and experiential activations, as well as print.
Product: Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola light, Coca-Cola Life
Title: "Taste the Magic"
Executive Creative Directors: Joaquín Cubría, Ignacio Ferioli
Creative Director: Nacho Coste
General Account Director: Emanuel Abeijón
Account Director: Lucila Castellani
Account Executive: Florencia Scrimaglia
Planning Director: Javier Quintero
Head of Global Integrated Production: Veronica Beach
Head of Production: Brenda Morrison Fell
Client Production: La verde Pro
Director: Martin Romanella
Production Agency: argentinacine
Executive Producers: Nano Tidone, Laura Passalacqua
Producer: German Escande
Postproduction: Aldo Ferrari
Postproduction House: Pickle House
Sound Design: Elefante Resonante
Music: "Taste the Feeling" by Conrad Sewell
Client Supervisors: Luis Gerardin, Guillermo Gimenez y Brotons, Alberto Velasco, Diego Luis, Sol Jares Cánovas, Jennifer Dolan