Coca-Cola Debuts Its Magical New Packaging With Some Actual Magic

Vegas performer Justin Flom transforms Cokes ... into other Cokes

Headshot of Angela Natividad

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.


Client: Coca-Cola

Product: Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola light, Coca-Cola Life

Title: "Taste the Magic"

Agency: David

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

Color: Pentimento

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

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@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.