Short List
Product / ServiceCOCA-COLA COKE
Media Placement BAIDU Shanghai, CHINA

The Campaign

Faces of the City, a series of 23 cans celebrating the distinct personalities of the people who make China’s cities special. China has over 240 cities, each with their own distinct cultures and even dialects. For today’s youth moving around China, each city leaves a distinct impression because of the friends they make there. No matter which city we come from, we can all come together over a Coca-Cola and share our cultures. We identified meaningful cultural details of each city to integrate into character designs for people to discover. For example, Charismatic Beijing has bold stature with a strong jawline formed by the Great Wall. Easy-going Chengdu rests her cheek on her hand with a panda for a hat. Beyond stylish cans, Faces of the City was a celebration of the diversity of China’s urban culture, and a brand statement about coming together across differences.

Creative Execution

We engaged renowned illustrator Noma Bar for designs in the simple, bold, and iconic Coca-Cola style. From the packaging, Faces of the City led consumers to an immersive digital experience in partnership with Baidu, China’s largest search engine. People could scan the graphic with the Baidu app (no QR code or clumsy link required) and bring the design to life in an augmented reality animation. They could also take a personality test, search trivia about cities online, see a real- time map of other youth around China engaging with the campaign along with them, and access a 360-degree real-time camera view of the city. The campaign was launched with widespread paid media support on traditional and digital channels for a period of 3 weeks in May 2017, and the cans were distributed nation-wide.

1. Volume Increased 226% • 2018: from Jan 1st to the 3rd week of May, the volume of sleek cans has reached to 7.5million UC • 2017: same period of the time, volume of sleek can was 2.3 million UC • Which is an incredible growth with 226% increase. 2. SOCIAL IMPRESSION: From March 19th (sleek can launch date) to the end of April, social impressions through the Baidu app reached 548 million. 3. BRAND LOVE: By April, brand love scores reached 2.51 compared to 2.35 last year, a 6.8% increase.

Because we reinvented packaging design as a multimedia experience to bring 23 cities in China to life. We redesigned Coke’s iconic red cans as the main offline medium, leading to a series of mobile-first digital engagements that were executed via AR and a content partnership with Baidu, to further foster brand engagement.

Our target was urban youth ages 17- 30, across a wide range of cities spanning huge distances. They live a mobile lifestyle, often traveling between cities to live or travel. Our approach was to provide a seamless offline to online experience that would first drive awareness of Coke to our desired target, followed by further engagement on a platform that they are constantly on – their mobile phones - to make this a campaign that they would remember. We began first with the packaging – the iconic Coke cans re-imagined in a sleek format, which happens to have the most reach and penetration in the fragmented media landscape of China. We then created an instantly accessible mobile platform that could be unlocked in seconds with a quick scan via your mobile phone that gave people access to content that allowed them to further discover their city, and people around them.


Name Company Position
Richard Cotton The Coca-Cola Company Coca-Cola Greater China & Korea Head of Content, Creative & Design
Steve Llewelyn The Coca-Cola Company Coca-Cola Greater China & Korea Design Lead
Cia Hatzi McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Coca-Cola Asia Pacific Chief Client Officer
Norashikin Manjit McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Coca-Cola Regional Executive Creative Director
Michael Li McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Executive Creative Director
Brian Mok McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Senior Art Director
Yitian Yang McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Copywriter
Jay Caplan McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Planning Director
Helene Huber McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Senior Planning Manager
Felicia How McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Group Account Director
Sophia Guo McCann-Erickson Guangming Ltd Shanghai Senior Account Manager
Noma Bar Dutch Uncle Inc Packaging Illustrator