In a Subtly Delightful Twist by Coca-Cola, These Outdoor Ads Point You to Recycling Bins

Publicis Italy says the approach is boosting recycling rates

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The decision on whether to recycle an empty bottle or just throw it in the trash shouldn’t be one determined by convenience, but alas, such is human nature. People are simply more likely to recycle if they can easily find and get to the right bin.

To that end, Coca-Cola and Publicis Italy have come up with a novel way of boosting the frequency of recycling while also maintaining the vibe of the brand’s advertising.

In a few European markets—and most visibly at the recent Happy Energy Tour musical festival in Sofia, Bulgaria—Coca-Cola has been running outdoor ads and out-of-home placements that turn the brand’s iconic white ribbon on a red background into a hand pointing at the nearest recycling bin.

Publicis Italy

Publicis Italy reports that 85% of bottles discarded at the festival were put into the bottle-specific recycling bin, which the agency says is “a significantly higher rate versus the previous year.”

Coca-Cola has committed to making all its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025. As of last December, the beverage giant said 87% of its global packaging was recyclable. By 2030, its goal is to recycle one can or bottle for each one purchased worldwide.


Agency: Publicis Italy
Global CCO Publicis Communication Worldwide: Bruno Bertelli
CCO Publicis Italy: Cristiana Boccassini
Executive Creative Directors: Davide Boscacci, Jorg Riommi
Art Director: Andrea Raia
Copywriter: Matteo Gatto
Illustrator: Davide Barco
Global Client Service Director: Lorenza Montorfano
Account Director: Marcia Carneiro
CEE Portfolio and Growth director: Romain Maillard
CEE IMC director: Dmitry Muzychenko
CEE Content Excellence Director: Monica Alvarez
CEE Content Excellence Manager: Desirèe Ferrari

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