Coca-Cola: the new global peacekeeper?

Coca-Cola: the new global peacekeeper?

Coke and Leo Burnett have unveiled a new initiative to break down barriers and create simple moments of happiness between two nations at odds – India and Pakistan.

The initiative, ‘Small world machines,’ provides a live communications portal through a Coca-Cola vending machine for Indians and Pakistanis to interact with and engage across country borders.

In March, the vending machines were placed in two different locations, one in India and another in Pakistan. People were encouraged to put their differences aside and complete a friendly task together – wave, touch hands, draw a peace sign or do a dance – in order to receive a Coke.

The  machines are live portals that take the shape of Coke vending machines which virtually unite people. In order to connect people Coke and Leo Burnett created unique 3D touchscreen technology to project a streaming live video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the machine to capture a live emotional exchange.

This technology resembled the act of looking into a full-length webcam, face-to-face with another person. At the same time, people were encouraged to interact with touchscreen animation including peace signs and smiley faces drawings that could be traced together with hand-to-hand connection.

Once the shared tasks were completed, a celebration screen emerged which triggered the vending machine to dispense a free Coke for each person.

According to Leo Burnett, the experience evoked emotional reactions. One Pakistani remarked: “It’s great to connect with the average Indian who probably knows nothing about the average Pakistani.” Another Indian said, “It’s something to really bring the countries together,” and “It’s fantastic that you’re allowing people to see the other side as well, to not let it be a mystery anymore.” During the three-day experience, more than 10,000 cans of Coke were given away.”

Andy DiLallo, chief creative officer Leo Burnett Sydney said: “Being on the ground in India during the Small World Machines experience is probably the highlight of my career so far. To be able to take two countries that have been divided and to unite them through the world's most iconic brand, and see the purity of the experience was amazing.

"Coca-Cola's message has always been one of happiness. I see this activation as a small step in the right direction. Hopefully it works as a symbol of how people can overcome differences and come together with a simple act of joy."

Credits: client Coca-Cola, agency Leo Burnett Sydney and Chicago, chief creative offier Andy DiLallo, CDs Grant McAloon, Vince Lagana, Dave Leow, Jon Wyville, art director Justin Carew/Andy DiLallo, copywriter Iggy Rodriguez, production The Super Group, Highlight Films, music Song Zu


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