There is no need to introduce Coca-Cola, so we’ll skip the “Established in…” part and get right to it. This week, Coca-Cola in Spain introduced a new design strategy that is being presented as “marca única”. Single brand. Whereas before Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola light, and Coca-Cola Zero each had their own design and advertising language they will all now align under a single, unified approach. As Fast Company further reports, Spain is one of eleven European markets testing out new packaging designs to see which is the one that will be adopted globally. What makes the Spain approach stand out is that it’s the only one that is presenting all varieties in a red can, while the UK and US (shown below) have silver for Diet Coke and black for Coke Zero. No design credit given.
It’s worth remembering that eight years ago Coca-Cola packaging was a swirl of waves and fizz and while it’s been that much time since we’ve seen stuff like this rear its hideous head, very little stops Coca-Cola from going there back again. So the changes below may not feel too drastic as we are now accustomed to the clean Coca-Cola designs but there is still something intriguing about this Spanish rollout.
What’s cool about this approach is the red appearing across the top on all varieties with the Coca-Cola wave acting as a divider and the bottom changing colors to match the varietal. As basic a design exercise as that is, it still manages to pack a punch, distilling the brand to its two most iconic elements, the script and the wave. The gold wave for the caffeine-free drinks is a little odd, but it’s a color choice that has been in play for many years now.
These two illustrations are pretty cool, and are probably the first of its kind in terms of showing multiple bottles at once. The single bottle image is now so ingrained that it’s rare to see multiples of it at the same time. The top one is particularly good with the wave and script going from edge to edge.
This approach sacrifices portions of a second in shelf recognizability — if you are a Coke Zero drinker, going for the all-black packaging takes little to no thinking — and might ultimately be its demise in competing for global dominance amongst the other pilot designs. Overall, this is not a HUGE change for Coca-Cola but within the tiny parallel steps it has taken in its designs in recent years this is one of the widest and it’s relatively interesting.
Thanks to José Emilio Muñoz for the tip.