Why Coca-Cola is Cannes Creative Marketer of the Year

There are not many companies that have created or experienced the sheer volume of creative and innovative marketing campaigns as The Coca-Cola Company, but it has been its creative resurgence in recent times that has seen the beverage giant regain its marketing mojo.

The announcement that Coke was to take the Cannes Lion Creative Marketer of the Year award home to Atlanta was hardly as a surprise, even more so if you take the time to reflect on just how many campaigns the beverage company have created over the years.

Coke won its first Cannes Lion back in 1967 and has collected over 100 Lions across different advertising and communication catergoies, including a Design Grand Prix in 2008 for the US entry Coca-Cola Identity and, most recently, the 2012 Outdoor Grand Prix win for China for Coke Hands.

Since the manufacture of the now famous contour bottle in 1916, Coca-Cola has consistently maintained a strong brand identity and kept its focus heavily directed towards design. The Company’s advertising, always an important and exciting part of its business, really took off in the 1970s with the brand’s iconic 1971 Hilltop commercial – where a group of young people from all over the world gathered on a hilltop in Italy to sing ‘I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.’

The 1990s were a time of continued growth for The Coca-Cola Company, reflected in the strengthening of the brand by connecting with wider audiences through its on-going support of the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup.

The industry recognised the resurgence of Coke’s creative mojo in 2007 with the launch of ‘The Coke Side of Life’ and iconic films like Happiness Factory and Videogame, which marked the brand’s return to telling big stories in a fresh, surprising way. Momentum continued to build in 2008 when the Coca-Cola Visual Identity System (VIS) won the first Design Grand Prix at Cannes, and the Company surprised juries yet again in 2011 with small-scale viral films like Friendship Machine.

At the time of the orginal Cannes Lion announcement in November last year, chief executive of Cannes Lions, Philip Thomas said, “The Coca-Cola Company’s restless pursuit of creative innovation in the marketing of its brands across multiple platforms in many different territories has been honoured at Cannes for many years.”

Executive vice president and chief marketing and commercial officer of The Coca-Cola Company, Joe Tripodi, said at the time, “Creativity has been and always will be at the heart of our brands. It fuels our business – with consumers, customers, fans, agencies and partners all over the world. We are honoured by this recognition and grateful to our agencies and partners who inspire and make us better.”

The industry recognised the resurgence of Coke’s creative mojo in 2007 with the launch of ‘The Coke Side of Life’ and iconic films like Happiness Factory and Videogame, which marked the brand’s return to telling big stories in a fresh, surprising way. Momentum continued to build in 2008 when the Coca-Cola Visual Identity System (VIS) won the first Design Grand Prix at Cannes, and the Company surprised juries yet again in 2011 with small-scale viral films like Friendship Machine.