In autumn 2021, Coca-Cola unveiled ‘Real Magic’, its first new global brand platform for five years. The ‘Real Magic’ brand philosophy is rooted in the insight that magic lives in unexpected moments of connection that elevate the everyday into the extraordinary. Using this new brand platform, Coke aims to bring people together by expressing the brand in a more diverse and human way.
For its first work for the brand, dentsuMB UK was tasked with creating Coca-Cola’s global Halloween campaign. The brief was to bring the ‘Real Magic’ philosophy to Halloween by uniting and uplifting people in this cultural moment.
We gave expression to the ‘Real Magic’ philosophy with a retro story of a boy and a ghost who reach across realities to enjoy a Coke together. The advert shows the boy waking in the night to find a ghost in the convenience store below. Wanting to help the forlorn figure get the Coke he desires, the boy passes him a bottle, but the ghost is unable to grasp it. Undeterred, the boy has an idea. Smashing the bottle on the floor, a ghost-bottle rises. Delighted, the ghost grabs it, finally allowing them to enjoy a drink together.
From the music and styling to the performance and character design, ‘Ghost’ has a strong 80s sci-fi feel and was shot mostly in camera. The ghost was created by Glassworks using 2D cel animation, reinforcing its retro aesthetic. The ad initially launched in Japan and Korea before rolling out globally. The campaign also featured on showcase sites, including 3D billboards in Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing.
The film is an important early expression of the new ‘Real Magic’ brand platform, helping to establish the new creative direction of Coca-Cola through famous, emotive and cinematic storytelling.
Coke isn’t just in the story, it is the story, ensuring the brand owns the occasion and takes on new resonance in culture again. The campaign is the start of an exciting new creative chapter for Coca-Cola, with much more to come.