“Coca-Cola and Christmas are synonymous,” says Kristie Malivindi, creative director at JKR. It’s true that the brand has carved out its own strangely prominent spot in the festive calendar, largely thanks to the Coca-Cola lorry announcing the arrival of the holidays via the nation’s TV screens each year. “Coke holiday campaigns are a seasonal tradition.”
This year, Coca-Cola is consolidating its Christmas links by debuting a visual identity created by JKR and the brand’s in-house design team specifically for its holiday campaign work. The identity was designed to be “iconically Coke” and “iconically Christmas”, according to Malivindi, while being flexible enough to work globally across all of its touchpoints – from digital platforms to packaging to communications.
“We created a suite of ornaments in a tight palette of colours, shapes, patterns, (and from different perspectives), to balance recognition of the brand with flexibility of application,” she says.
The holiday campaign identity also includes a new serif typeface that brings “warmth and sparkle”, Malivindi says. Designed by Brody Associates, the typeface is based on specimens from the Coca-Cola archives, which lends it a kind of vintage charm.
The team also channelled their efforts into creating a motion design toolkit that would help the festive campaigns to thrive on digital, which was “a bit of a first for Coke”, Malivindi says.
“All in all, our goal was to create a toolkit that would inspire all the people tasked with bringing this campaign to life,” giving everyone from internal teams to agency partners the space to play while remaining on-brand, she explains. “No rubber-stamping.”
Malivindi says that there is room to evolve the ornament concept further down the line, as well as other seasonal identities for the brand over the next few years: “I think there’s still a world of stories to be told and executions to explore within that framework.”