Coca-Cola encourages shared meals in 1st ad since pandemic pause

Dive Brief:

  • Coca-Cola debuted its first new advertisement since the pandemic started, shining a spotlight on socially distanced meals around the globe, according to materials the company shared with Marketing Dive.
  • The Great Meal shows 13 real households from eight cities around the world cooking together and sharing Coca-Cola during the meal. The ad calls on people to dine together this summer, even several meters apart or remotely as people remain close to home during the pandemic.
  • The ad, which was created with agency Anomaly, was filmed remotely during the quarantine. It is currently running in the U.S. and will air in Germany, Spain, Morocco, France, most Asian countries and India in the coming weeks.

Dive Insight:

Coca-Cola’s new ad follows months of the beverage giant holding back on marketing due to the pandemic. Now, the global push is a sign the brand is looking to restart advertising and adapt its creative to consumers’ new normal.

That “new normal” includes a heightened level of accountability toward deep-pocketed brands to take stances on social injustices and make real change when it comes to protecting against the pandemic and fighting racism in America. Around 240 brands have pledged in recent weeks to boycott advertising on Facebook in response to the social network’s allowing hate speech and racism to thrive on the platform. While Coca-Cola said it would not officially join the boycott, it announced on June 26 that it would pause all social media ads globally.

This has been a year of disruptions for the beverage company’s advertising. When restaurants and bars shuttered and concerts and sporting events were canceled during the early stages of the pandemic, Coca-Cola downshifted its advertising focus from out-of-home, billboards and TV to smaller digital and streaming options in order to connect with homebound consumers seeking entertainment.

Earlier in June, Coca-Cola revealed plans for a new focus on agility and flexibility through real-time content production and streaming in the months ahead. “The Great Meal” spot that debuts this week follows the theme of ads from previous years, showcasing people sharing meals in restaurants and drinking the soda, though the latest message has been updated to resonate with folks in the era of social distancing.

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