Can You Look at These Wonderfully Evocative Coke Ads Without Hearing Them?

Agency David captures uniquely audio moments, in print

This series of print ads for Coca-Cola challenges you not to imagine how they sound. David Miami
Headshot of David Griner

Sonic branding is a hot topic among marketers these days, but one might assume the idea of branded sounds (like the click of a Zippo lighter or the fading static of HBO’s logo) is limited to ads that have, you know, audio.

However, Coca-Cola’s newest European campaign, “The First Print Ads You Can Hear,” proves that sometimes even a still image can conjure a sound in your mind. The work is from agency network David and was led by its Miami office.

As you can see above, the photography-driven campaign captures moments of iconic sound effects—the crack and “pshhh” of an opening Coke bottle or can, for example. The only copy is the confident-bordering-on-cocky line, “Try not to hear this.”

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The ads brilliantly leverage the concept of synesthesia, in which your brain blends one sensory experience with another, such as seeing colors when you hear specific music. Few brands could create multiple moments of this kind, but Coca-Cola made a natural fit for the concept thanks to its global recognition and lifelong loyalty among many fans.

“As one of the most iconic brands in the world with one of the highest top of mind [rankings], we have earned a place in people’s heads,” says Camilla Zanaria, content lead for Coca-Cola’s Central and Eastern Europe operations. “With this campaign, we are aiming to activate that sensorial memory from our consumers, challenging them to hear an image for the first time, finishing our ad in their heads.”

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The ads will appear in magazines, newspapers and magazines across Europe.

Vertical versions of the creative will also run as Instagram Stories ad units:

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CREDITS:
Agency: David the Agency
Client: The Coca-Cola Company
Managing Director / Global COO: Paulo Fogaça
Executive Creative Director: Ricardo Casal
Executive Creative Director: Juan Javier Peña Plaza
Associate Creative Director: Fernando Pellizzaro
Associate Creative Director: Jean Zamprogno
Art Director: Andy Tamayo
Copywriter: Alex Allen
Creative Coordinator: Cristina Cornejo Ayala
Head of Global Production: Veronica Beach
Producer: Renata Neumann
Producer: Ricardo Ceballos
Director of Strategy: Jon Carlaw
Senior Brand Planner: Matias Candia
Head of Account Management: Carmen Rodriguez
Account Director: Stefane Rosa
Account Supervisor: Jenny Gobel
Account Executive: Nneoma Chukwueke

The Coca-Cola Company:
Dmitry Muzychenko – CEE IMC Director
Sergey Sverzhinskiy – CEE Creative and Content Excellence Director
Camilla Zanaria – CEE Coca-Cola Content Lead
Laura Legrenzi – CEE Coca-Cola Content Lead
Romain Mallard – Portfolio & Growth Marketing Director
Dimitris Xinotroulias – Sparkling Category Director
Milica Vulicevic Basorovic – Coca-Cola TM Director


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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
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