Next Generation Coke? Not So Sure.


There has been a lot of blog buzz surrounding the “Next Generation Coke Packaging” by student Andrew Kim. A smart looking design, marrying graphic impact and simplicity. It is pretty easy to imagine it becoming a fully commercialized idea.

But...let’s get practical from a brand perspective.

In today’s marketplace, the major concern for global brands is to provide a more meaningful and compelling promise versus private label—not to mention other competitive brands. To win at shelf, brands—especially Coke—have invested in strengthening their proprietary difference; they need to be unique to be preferred. 

The rectangular profile of Andrew’s bottle is striking in its simplicity and iconic in nature. This is of course the hallmark of The Coca-Cola Company’s design aesthetic. At first glance it feels right. 

So, why not?  

As much as the bottle would allow Coke to maximize the iconic graphics, the rectangle squanders Coke’s most enduring asset: the bottle’s distinct silhouette. The rectangular form forces the brand to live and die on graphics alone. And this is where private label has often played dirty. By co-opting color and design cues private label brands often erode the inimitable qualities of the category leaders like Coke.

Aside from questions of feasibility (drop test), this could be a stunning bottle for another brand.

Chris Plewes

Chief Creative Officer

Anthem Worldwide

Chris is part of the Anthem Worldwide Executive Team and leads the creative network around the globe. He brings over 20 years of CPG and retail experience delivering world-class creative with a practical perspective to manage global brands in both mature and emerging markets. He has worked on branding assignments that span the U.S., Canadian, European and Asian markets. He has fostered long-standing relationships with companies such as P&G, Nestlé, Campbell’s, E-Mart, and Coca-Cola.