The Entire Family Has a Crush on the Pool Boy in One of Coca-Cola’s New ‘Taste the Feeling’ Spots

Global ad campaign celebrates inclusion and diversity

"Pool Boy" is one of four new ads in the brand's global campaign that's crafted to translate well. YouTube: Coca-Cola
Headshot of Christine Birkner

Coca-Cola is putting a modern spin on a trope from daytime soaps by having a brother and sister both lust after the pool boy in its latest ad.

It’s one of four new spots for “Taste the Feeling,” Coca-Cola’s global campaign that launched in 2016 as part of its “One Brand” strategy, which unites advertising for Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Light, and Coca-Cola Life.

In “Pool Boy,” the siblings stare out the window longingly at the handsome young man cleaning their pool. They both race outside, nearly tripping over each other, to offer him a Coke, only to find that someone else in the family has already beaten them to it.

“Let’s face it, Mom always knows better, and she not only got to the pool boy before them both, but she also fixed a sandwich for the guy,” said Rodolfo Echeverria, global vp of creative and connections at Coca-Cola. “It’s a human story, and Coca-Cola is at the center.”

All “Taste the Feeling” ads are designed to translate globally with simple stories, little to no dialogue and universal themes. Different versions often are shot for different regions of the world, changing only the casting for North America-Europe, Africa and Asia.

“The less people talk, the better,” Echeverria said. “We save money on translating, and the image is self-explanatory.”

For instance, in another new spot, “Elevator,” a hotel housekeeper and a rap star who get stuck in a hotel elevator make the best of it by dancing and drinking Coke.

While “Pool Boy” promotes diversity and inclusion for the LGBT community, “Elevator” is designed to bridge the class divide. “We’re bridging the extremes of the social divide, but in a subtle way,” Echeverria said. “We’re not going to make these messages the subject, but rather the subtext.”

The other two new spots also celebrate simple moments, with Coca-Cola at the center of each story. “Subway” shows a music executive discovering the next big star at a transit station, while “Eyes Closed” celebrates the moments that are better experienced with your eyes closed.

“They’re about how drinking Coca-Cola makes everyday moments more special,” Echeverria said. “The stories like boy meets girl, sibling rivalry or getting stuck in an elevator with a stranger are universal.”


“Pool Boy”
Agency: SANTO
Creative Directors: Sebastian Wilhelm, Maxi Anselmo & Pablo Minces
Art Director: Maxi Anselmo
Director of Photography: Jose Luis Garcia
Production House: Landia
Director: Andy Fogwill

Agency: McCann Madrid
Creative Directors: Monica Moro (ECD), Raquel Martinez, Victor Gomez, Pedro Rego
Production house: Landia
Director: Andy Fogwill
Director of Photography: Jose Luis Garcia

Agency: McCann Madrid
Creative Directors: Monica Moro (ECD), Raquel Martinez, Adolfo Vallejo, Oscar Martinez
Production House: Argentina Cine
Directors: Augusto G. Zapiola & Martin Romanella
Director of Photography: Christos Voudouris

“Eyes Closed”
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mexico City
Creative directors: Cesar Agost Carreno (ECD), Alejandro Gama
Production house: Agosto (Spain)
Director: Belén Gayán
Director of Photography: Carl Nilsson

@ChristineBirkne Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.