Fresh Coca-Cola collaboration hits the spot with influencers

Japanese music producer, DJ, and clothing designer Nigo created a limited-edition collection of 10 garments inspired by early 20th century Coca-Cola vendor wear and by his own vintage Coke memorabilia collection.

Coca-Cola (Atlanta)
ExposureUSA (New York)
Coca-Cola x Beams x Human Made
February-April 2013

Japanese music producer, DJ, and clothing designer Nigo created a limited-edition collection of 10 garments inspired by early 20th century Coca-Cola vendor wear and by his own vintage Coke memorabilia collection.

The collection was released under Nigo's Human Made line in collaboration with Coca-Cola and Japanese retailer Beams and sold at Beams stores and a few highly curated boutique outlets in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Coca-Cola and ExposureUSA ran a successful campaign promoting the dual-branded collaboration.

“This program was brought to us,” explains Kelly Kozel, senior project manager at Coca-Cola. “Typically, brands seek fashion collaborations so this was a unique situation and very special because we have a relationship with Beams and have done other programs with them involving Coca-Cola merchandise.

“Beams' creative director Hiroshi Kubo has a strong relationship with Nigo, and our business manager in Japan knew a Nigo collection would fit well into our artisan designer collaboration platform.”

Kozel says that the collaboration was aligned with Coke's overall PR goal of driving positive coverage, reach, and sell-through at retail.

Global media relations, videos, social media outreach, and events in Japan and New York drove awareness. “We worked with our Tokyo office on influencer layers. It was vital that influencers engage with the products,” says ExposureUSA's PR director Matt Arrowsmith.

The agency negotiated a worldwide media exclusive with Hong Kong-based Hypebeast, which ran a three-part story unveiling the collection before it hit stores on February 22.

Ongoing outreach targeted media and bloggers covering fashion, urban street wear, and skater and men's lifestyle in Japan, the US, Canada, and the UK. Nigo gave interviews to Japanese and US outlets.

Media, models, and various other social media influencers were invited to a February 21 event at Beams' flagship store in Tokyo. Attendees were encouraged to wear the collection and share photos on their social media channels.

Products went on sale in Beams stores and in boutique outlets worldwide.

The collection debuted in North America at a March 25 event hosted for a similar crowd at ExposureUSA's in-house fashion showroom.

Two videos were created. One focused on Nigo and his inspiration for the collection. The other featured Nigo and Kubo discussing the collection and spring fashion in general. They were used in media and blogger outreach and posted to Coca-Cola's YouTube channel and two of its blogs.

Fashion portrait shots of Nigo and Kubo modeling the collection were also used in media and blogger outreach.

Coca-Cola's Facebook and Twitter pages were not used given the geographic distribution of the collaboration.

The collection sold out worldwide and garnered 270 placements in the US and Japan combined (130 million impressions). Outlets that covered the story include Essential Homme,, High Snobiety,,,, and WWD Japan.

Combined, the videos had about 9,000 views on Coca-Cola's YouTube channel. More than 350 influencers tweeted and posted photos to Instagram. Five hundred people attended the Tokyo event, and 200 were in attendance at the New York event.

Kozel hopes to work with Exposure again. New products and programs are slated for this summer.

PRWeek's View
There was a really nice synergy among all three parties involved in this collaboration. Nigo's passion for the Coca-Cola brand is deep and authentic as shown by his personal collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia. His vision for the products emphasized the brand's heritage and highlighted it for a young, influential, and global audience. Coca-Cola and its agency, ExposureUSA, did a great job of driving awareness using both traditional and social media methods among pertinent targets around the world.

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