Have you seen the bottles of Coca-Cola that are labeled “Meow Planet”, “BFF”, and other Chinese buzzwords? If you think that they are shanzhai, you are wrong. This is Coca-Cola’s new marketing campaign in China. The new packaging replaces the Chinese name for Coca-Cola — 可口可乐 — with popular internet slang that have come about in Chinese youth culture. WantChinaTimes reports:
“Coca-Cola has introduced new packaging aimed at increasing its market share in China, incorporating internet buzzwords into its classic red and white branding. The move has drawn a mixed response, with some liking the new design while others say it makes Coke look like a fake product.
According to a report in the Chinese-language Beijing Morning Post, market sources believe the move is aimed at attracting younger consumers in the vast Chinese market.”
Coca-Cola has covered all major buzzwords from the past 2 years. The company calls this packaging the “nickname bottle” (昵称瓶), as the buzzwords are all terms that refer to different stereotypes or certain groups of people, such as 高富帅 (tall, rich, and handsome), 天然呆 (a word from the Japanese term 天然ボケ, refers to girls who are airheads but cute), 粉丝 (fans), 月光族 (“moonlight group”, young people who spend all their salaries at the end of the month), 纯爷们 (a real man), 闺蜜 (BFF), and 喵星人 (meow planet dweller, refers to cat lovers).
Daily Newspaper finds that this new marketing campaign seems to be successful already:
“So far, these products are already being sold at some movie theaters, vending machines, and supermarkets in Hangzhou. “The new packaging is very attractive, almost all young people that come to watch a movie would buy a bottle, the old packaging has lost some love these few days,” a staff at a movie theater says.
The new packaging’s popularity quickly rises, a netizen complained: ‘I was going to buy a bottle of 高富帅 (tall, rich, and handsome), but there was only a bottle of 月光族 (moonlight group) left. Even the cashier laughed.” Another netizen posted: ‘Now the office buys 7 to 8 bottles of Coke at a time. Everyone designates which nickname bottle they want, and the bottles don’t get easily mixed up either.'”
Coca Cola targets China as its Number 1 market, the China Perspective reported earlier. A branding strategy to attract China’s youth and build up its name as being a cool and niche brand, the buzzword campaign proves to be successful in terms of its pictures being shared over social media, but how long the young’s attention will be kept remains to be seen.
Image courtesy of CNS.