Coca-Cola Signature Mixers brand creation
Taking Coca-Cola into mixology
OPENING THE WORLD UP TO MIXOLOGY
For many years, Coca-Cola has played an important role in mixing and cocktail culture, through its unique yet familiar taste, and popularity with drinks such as the Cuba Libre and whisky and Coke. With the continued growth of the cocktail culture and with dark spirits making a comeback, The Coca-Cola Company teamed up with some of the world’s leading mixologists to craft a new line of mixer products, with the ambition of opening up the world of mixology to a wider audience.
Developed with mixing at the core of the proposition, the range features four key blends, formulated with mixologists and flavour experts to deliver a taste that supports and accentuates the flavour profiles of dark spirits. It is the first time that Coca-Cola has innovated its liquid with co-creators. We were asked to create a brand and identity for the Signature Mixers range, and bring it to life through holistic brand expression.
FAMILIARITY AND MODERNITY COLLIDE
We partnered with The Coca-Cola design team to develop the design of the Signature Mixers range – from early innovation concepts through to packaging, in-bar activation and shopper marketing assets. We developed the creative idea of ‘unlock creative experimentation’, which was brought to life by colliding Coke’s iconicity with the codes of modern mixology, taking inspiration from the brand’s original mixologist, Dr Pemberton. We wanted to convey an authenticity with the new design; we spent a lot of time with the Coke design team, looking back into the archives to create something credible that respected the past, while giving us the standout that the product deserves. We selected a glass bottle design used by Coca-Cola in 1894 when it was first bottled, and created a visual identity system that reflects the expertise and craft of the contemporary mixologist.
Authentic craft was key to the different aspects of the design. Iconic Coke with a fresh look. Coca-Cola in black to elevate the brand into this premium space. The iconic Coca-Cola brand at the top spliced together with the flavour notes and the individual signatures of approval from the mixologists who created them. We purposefully paired back the label design to reflect the craft of the product inside. Handmade white paper with the black brand mark gives a strong, bold new look and feel for the Coca-Cola brand. Understated but premium, allowing it to stand out as a new experimental range of mixers in any high-end bar environment. Across the batch numbers and bottle seals, a sophisticated, rich colour palette was chosen to give a flash of flavour, that best suited the carefully balanced ingredients.
THE REAL ORIGINAL COCA-COLA BOTTLE
After looking back through the archives we discovered the sleek Hutchinson bottle that pre-dated the famous contour bottle. This was a gem of a find. Dating back to the era of Dr Pemberton, (who invented the original Coca-Cola) it was the perfect fit; oozing authenticity yet still relevant in today’s mixology world. We retained the original silhouette and carefully made some minor tweaks to the structure to allow for production. This also included replicating the embossing on the bottle. We adjusted this giving credit to the original mixologist – Dr Pemberton.
“Coca-Cola Signature Mixers is a truly unique range. It is the first time in our history that we have innovated our liquid with co-creators to develop four sophisticated mixers, specifically crafted to be enjoyed with premium dark spirits. We wanted to create a special glass shape to not only delineate the new range from Classic Coca-Cola but to evoke the essence of mixology’s roots. Working closely with creative agency, Dragon Rouge, we went back to our extensive archives and used the Hutchinson bottle as our inspiration, an iconic bottle shape that pre-dates the Contour bottle.”
Krista Webb Carney
Design Thinking Capability Director, Western Europe