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Coke wants China's youth to start communicating with music

Coke wants China's youth to start communicating with music

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Coke is launching an interesting experiment in China: it's trying to make soda more musical. The company has partnered up with ad agency Isobar to produce new Coca-Cola labels that have been dubbed "musicons." During the promotion, Coke's branding will be replaced with song lyrics and a prominent QR code. Scanning this code with WeChat, a popular messaging client in China, will allow users to exchange small soundbites of the song featured on their bottle.

"We tried to think of things people might actually want to share, and music quickly came up," said Tim Doherty, chief creative officer of Isobar China, in an interview with Fast Company. "But what about music? Artists? Songs? Genres? We settled on lyrics — the juicy, beating, instantly recognizable, quickly digestible heart of a song." At least in the United States, soda drinkers may be more likely to associate Pepsi with music, owing to the millions of free iTunes downloads that Pepsi distributed via bottle caps a decade ago.

But Coke's idea is certainly unique, and this isn't the first time it's turned to Isobar for a clever marketing scheme. Last year, a similar concept replaced Coke's brand with nicknames like "foodie," "superstar," and "a stylish man." This time, the two companies are hoping musicons can compete with emoticons. "Instead of a winky face or a smile with x's for eyes, consumers in China can use a quick pop-music clip with its associated animation to quickly telegraph how they are feeling when chatting online," Doherty said.