Coca-Cola supports more than 3,000 sustainability projects worldwide. From water conservation, farming, education and nutrition, Coca-Cola is an active corporate citizen on a global scale. But very few knew about it. People are very familiar with the Coca-Cola logo and its refreshing products. However, people were not too familiar with the company's major efforts in local communities.
Coca-Cola wanted to fill the perception gap - but needed to do it in a way that avoided cynicism.
Partnering with an independent content creation team, Coca-Cola shot and produced a series of seven sensitively constructed short films called 'Every Bottle Has a Story'. The people are real, the stories are real, the narrative was planned but as with any documentary the team worked in the moment as it came.
Japan's story is about Coca-Cola's short and long-term support in Tohoku where the earthquake and tsunami hit the hardest. Australia's story is about collaboration between the World Wildlife Fund, sugarcane farmers, NGO's and Coca-Cola to reduce the environmental footprint that sugarcane production has on freshwater quality and the Great Barrier Reef. Indonesia's story is about a national team football player who got his first break in a grassroots sponsoring football program.
Four other films tell stories about water in Malaysia, schools in China, nutrition in Philippines and irrigation for farming in Thailand. The films were used in multiple media across the Pacific region from TV, cinema, online and in key conferences and internal forums. Interactive media was designed to further the conversation with consumers invited to add their story, tweet, blog and deepen the stories.
The audience was drawn to the content through short versions in paid media - and long versions within YouTube, Cinema and Coca-Cola websites. The content has also been screened at multiple Coca-Cola's internal events, management meetings and annual conferences.
It is too early to fully quantify the commercial impact. But the initial reaction from NGOs, government, local communities, key stakeholders and Coca-Cola employees, have been good. It is changing the perception of the company, and inspiring the program to be implanted in many markets around the world.