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Coca-Cola bottles turn musical when on-pack lyrics are scanned

Coca-Cola has a new campaign in China that puts lines from popular songs on bottles of soda, allowing for on-demand access to content and creating a shareable experience via popular social application WeChat.

Each Lyric Coke bottle features a QR code that can be scanned to activate a short clip featuring the lyric on that bottle. The animated musical clips are designed specifically to be shareable in social media, and are being positioned as a whole new way to consume music ? the shareable musical soundbite .

?The objective of the campaign is to help consumers connect with the brand, generate talkability, and get people to share a Coke with one another, which should ultimately increase sales,? said Tim Doherty, chief creative officer of Isobar China.

?Mobile plays a huge role in the overall effort,? he said.

?In China WeChat is one of the most popular social platforms and has an in-app code scanner. The QR code on each bottle allows drinkers to scan them to trigger an animated clip of the same song on the bottle, ?the Musicon,? which can then be the shared on WeChat and other social platforms.

Isobar is a digital marketing agency and had part in developing the Coke Lyric bottle campaign this year and last.

Thirst for engagement
Narrating a strong brand story that is consumer-relevant has become increasingly challenging, but new media can help brands tell stories in multisensory ways previously never dreamed of. 

Isobar is calling these new digital objects ?Musicons,? for musical emoticons. By embedding lyrics on Coke products, the bottles and cans become a vehicle for self-expression.

The Lyric bottle campaign allows drinkers in China to signal how they are feeling simply by sharing a Coke.

This is the campaign?s second term, with music being a new addition this year.

?With last year's Nickname Coke campaign in China, consumers had to decide which nickname to give to which person,? Mr. Doherty said.

?There was a level of discrimination involved. And whatever nickname bottle you received, signaled how people identify you.?

?The new Musicons are to songs what tweets are to blogs. Sometimes a soundbite says it better,? he said.

New media efforts
Food and beverage packaging is evolving beyond being a traditional delivery vehicle for branding and ingredient information.

Digital capabilities have created a growing opportunity for companies to convey brand messages and engage with consumers in ways traditional media cannot.

Food brands are taking advantage of social media and digital technology to connect with consumers; and when implemented correctly, their strategies have positive impacts on consumer engagement.

QR Codes
Consumers with QR reader-enabled smartphones are equipped to scan the code in store and be redirected to an external Web site or social media page where brands can exhibit a mix of content that showcases product use, perks or contests.

In early 2012, San Pellegrino launched a campaign that placed QR codes on its bottled water products. When scanned, consumers were engaged on a virtual journey to discover the beauty and history of Bergamo, Italy, where the water originates.

Heineken was the first beer brand to use QR codes on its packaging and utilized them to provide a unique way to download a new app: The Heineken Music Challenge.

Kraft Foods has been a large influence in mobile commerce programs in testing out near-field communication and QR codes.

In early 2012, the food giant used QR codes to promote its cheeses. A shopper could scan the QR code and check out quick and easy recipes that use that particular cheese type.

?With this lyric campaign, people in China can telegraph how they are feeling with the juicy heart of a song. The sharing is not based on an identity, but on the status of one's emotions at any one time,? Mr. Doherty said.

?So the opportunity to share Lyric Cokes is even greater, since people have different moods, under different circumstances throughout the day, which means that there are even more opportunities to use the brand's iconic bottle packaging as a launchpad for shareability and saleability as well as to engage with consumers.?

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York