Coca-Cola’s 50-Market/73-Athlete #ThatsGold Rio Campaign Celebrates Olympic Moments

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The joyful emotional highs of winning Olympic gold is the central theme of Coca-Cola’s global Rio 2016 campaign which builds on the soft drinks behemoth’s ongoing ‘Taste The Feeling’ umbrella idea.


The creative emerges from a montage of athletes’ gold medal moments interspersed with footage of people experiencing everyday moments of excitement – and enjoying drinking products across the Coca-Cola range..


The international campaign, which is being developed with agency Ogilvy & Mather Brazil, spans TV, print and OOH executions and features no fewer than 79 global athletes from 23 different countries.
This Rio, sports-themed Olympics push is rolling out across 50 markets


The flagship spot continues to run under the brand’s recently introduced ‘Taste the Feeling’ tagline and anthem – which first launched at the beginning of 2016 to unify the drinks giant’s beverage range under a single strategy.



The sports stars fronting the IOC global TOP partner’s marketing programme include Australian hurdler, Michelle Jenneke, US swimmer Nathan Adrian and soccer star Alex Morgan, plus Paralympic athlete Tatyana McFadden, UK boxer Nicola Adams and athletes Jessica Ennis and Jodie Williams…to name just a few.


The Ogilvy & Mather Brazil agency team is led by chief creative officer Anselmo Ramos and creative director Rafael Donato, while production was handled by Anonymous Content, the director was Omri Cohen, the music company was Avicii Music AB and it was performed by Avicii feat Conrad.


‘While the gold medal is an icon of sporting success, there are so many gold moments that happen off the podium. For Coca-Cola, gold moments are made of special feelings. It’s about day-to-day, simple pleasures that are all about joy and uplift, whatever is a special moment that you’ll share with friends and family, and celebrating our relationships with the Olympians, too,’ explains Rodolfo Echeverria, global VP, creative and connections at Coca-Cola.


‘We’re trying to position Coca-Cola as a simple pleasure that makes moments more special…joyful, refreshing, sharable – all of those moments that make you feel gold, just like the feeling of drinking an ice-cold Coca-Cola.’


As well as its global advertising campaign, Coca-Cola’s Olympic activation also includes primary sponsorship of the 2016 Olympic Torch Relay: which is stopping 320 global cities and when the torch touches down in Rio de Janeiro it’ll have been carried by more than 12,000 people across 20,000km on land and 16,000km by air.


Other activation strands include a suite of limited edition commemorative cans and bottles featuring Olympic athlete silhouettes from the ad campaign (available from mid July) and the onsite ‘Coca-Cola Olympic Station’ (its brand activation centre) primarily aims to engage with teens in Rio and will offer a set of experiences from athlete appearances and musical performances.


Situated in the new heart of the city and Official Rio Live Site, Praca Maua, the hang out will offer teen fans a chance to experience #ThatsGold through several offerings spanning innovative tech activities to headline events with star entertainment ambassadors.


The space will mix athletes, music artists and influencers, allowing them to create and share their gold moments across social networks, all while tasting the feeling of a Coca-Cola.


Coca-Cola will also host a #ThatsGold Experience within the Olympic Park itself – a brand space where visitors can enjoy a drink from commemorative gold aluminium bottles.


While on social media, Coke has aligned with a team of global influencers – spanning Australian singers Cody and Alli Simpson, Canadian actress and fashion blogger Allie Evans and UK YouTube star Jake Boys – to create and share Olympics-themed content on social media.


This activation programme runs in parallel to Coca-Cola’s ongoing Coletivo Coca-Cola project: a training program for young people from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas that aims to empower people from these communities through work.


Before, during and after the Games, Coke is working with, training and employing young people from the initiative to work within hospitality, venue operations and experiential roles – the iudea is to give them valuable work experience and an opportunity to be part of their home city Olympic Games.




The scale is impressively immense, but we just can’t help but wonder whether in trying connect emotionally with pretty much everyone on the planet does this creative actually truly connect deeply with anyone at all.


Rio 2016 marks the 88th year of Coca-Cola’s Olympics partnership and the brand has been an official sponsor since 1928.


‘There’s something that’s so powerful about the Olympics. It brings together experiences of mutual understandings, friendships, solidarity, togetherness, inclusion and equality,’ said Ivan Pollard, svp, strategic marketing at Coca-Cola.


‘This year’s campaign is special because it’s not about watching someone win a gold medal, it’s about watching their face when they do. It’s exactly the same feeling you have when you teach your children to ride a bicycle, or when your son graduates from college.’


This Summer Games campaign follows on from Coca-Cola’s London 2012 campaign (see case study) and its Winter Olympic activation from Sochi 2014 (see case study).




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