Watch: Coca-Cola campaign aims to unite divided world

Soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola has launched a campaign featuring Orange is the New Black and Russian Doll star Natasha Lyonne, in an attempt to encourage people to be more open-minded and understanding.

The campaign will feature digital and out-of-home executions that present ways of bringing people together, including new visuals in-store and on product.

Developed by Wieden & Kennedy London, the ad depicts a hectic urban environment. People become engaged in arguments as the noise and negativity builds.

As the disagreements escalate, physical cracks appear in the architecture and the scene begins to crumble around each person, who somehow remain oblivious to the destruction.

Eventually Lyonne, who is also a writer and director, appears amid the chaos to suggest a different approach.

Agencies AKQA and Blurred are working alongside Wieden & Kennedy London on the campaign.

Speaking at the launch, Blurred co-founder Katy Stolliday said: “Coca-Cola is the pioneer of purpose-driven comms, having had a purpose before anyone even knew what purpose was. It’s part of the brand’s DNA so there’s real depth there, which is what Blurred is all about."

Walter Susini, Coca-Cola's senior vice-president of marketing EMEA, explained: “We believe the key to bringing people together is empathy. Empathy means understanding how someone else feels. Listening to what they have to say. Taking a walk in their shoes. And this campaign aims to do that by inspiring us all to take a step back and consider someone else’s point of view.

“We don’t pretend to have all the answers; we don’t even know all the questions. But we do know that it’s time to act.”

Asked how the sustainability messaging presented at the launch event is compatible with the recent announcement that the company will not stop selling drinks in single-use plastic bottles because it would alienate customers and reduce sales, Susini said: “This campaign is about listening and understanding.

"None of us want to see our bottles and cans ending up where they shouldn’t, and we have listened and understand that it’s our responsibility to stop that happening.

“In Great Britain, our Smartwater brand is the first to come in 100 per cent recycled plastic, meaning no virgin, oil-based plastic used at all. We’ll reach 50 per cent recycled plastic across our total portfolio this year and will keep pushing towards 100 per cent recycled or renewable content after that.”

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