What if you could turn a used soda bottle into a paint brush, pencil sharpener or water squirter?
You can. In Vietnam. Thanks to Coca-Cola.
The soda giant has launched a simple, yet brilliant marketing promotion that combines environmentalism with brand building.
Coke is giving away a series of 16 special caps that screw onto used soda bottles and transform them into fun and useful objects. Consumers get the caps for free upon product purchase.
The program is called 2nd Lives, and is part of Coke’s sustainability efforts.
“We are always looking for better solutions to reduce the use of plastic and increase recycling around the world,” explained Leonardo O’Grady, ASEAN Director Integrated Marketing Communications, Coca-Cola, in a press statement. He added that “the variety of our 2nd Lives caps shows that there are many creative ways to re-use plastic simply and practically, and also supports our global sustainability program.”
Coke’s idea, created in conjunction with Ogilvy & Mather China, is a good example of customizing a global brand based on local market and culture understanding.
While recycling would be a preferred solution in a Western market, that’s not a good option in Asia. “Awareness of recycling and environmental issues isn’t generally as high as in the West,” pointed out Angela Doland, in Advertising Age. Instead, she noted, “it is common for people in Asia and the developing world to find creative ways to reuse bottles.”
And that insight led to the 2nd Lives initiative. “These unique bottle caps are changing consumers’ behavior and mindsets with an incredibly simple, yet clever, idea. It’s not about high tech capabilities, just creative thinking,” said Juggi Ramakrishnan, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Beijing, in the press statement.
The pilot program began in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in March. Coke expects to give away 40,000 bottle caps throughout the country in 2014. There are plans to extend the program to Thailand and Indonesia at a later date.
Coca-Cola has launched a brilliant marketing and sustainability program in Vietnam that transforms used soda bottles into useful and fun tools. It’s an example of the smart brand management required to effectively market global brands in local geographies.
Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success. Contact him at hchimoff at gmail dot com.