Coca-Cola’s new communications ad uses 1,500 pieces of recycled plastic

Coca-Cola has turned to stop-motion animation to launch a multi-million pound consumer awareness campaign to highlight the recyclability of its products, marking the first time the global drinks giant has issued a sustainability campaign in the UK.

The “Love Story” campaign aired on television over the weekend and depicts the tale of Fanta and Coke Zero Sugar bottles who continuously meet and fall in love each time they are recycled into a new bottle.

The campaign is Coca-Cola’s biggest consumer-facing communications programme on recycling and will run throughout the summer in cinemas, and on digital and social media. The advert finishes with the message that Coca-Cola bottles are 100% recyclable.

Coca-Cola Great Britain’s marketing director Aedamar Howlett said: “The beauty of Love Story is that it reminds people our packaging is valuable, as it can be recycled into more packaging over and over again. All of our packaging is 100% recyclable and has been for some time now.

“The multi-million pound campaign shows how serious we are about encouraging more people to recycle, so we that we reach our aim of getting all of our bottles back.”

Created by Ogilvy & Mather Berlin, the advert uses more than 1,500 plastic bottles and the entire set and props are made from recyclable material. The campaign is expected to reach 35m British residents by the end of 2017.

Packaging’s Great British take-off

The ad campaign forms part of Coca-Cola’s new sustainable packaging strategy for Great Britain, which was launched two weeks ago. The campaign focuses on improving recycling rates and doubling the amount of recycled plastic in each Coca-Cola polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle to 50% in the next three years.

Across the UK, only 70% and 57% of cans and bottles are recycled respectively, despite both forms of Coca-Cola packaging being 100% recyclable. In fact, research from food retailer The Co-operative Group (Co-op) found that two-thirds of Britain’s recyclable plastic packaging is not being recycled.

It has been a busy month for Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) – the bottling company for Coca-Cola. Weeks before the strategy was unveiled, the firm released its annual sustainability report, which revealed that the company had reduced its packaging use ratio (g/litre) by 18%.

The report also outlined that more than half of CCEP sites were now sending zero waste to landfill. In total, 34 of the company’s 53 plants are sending zero waste to landfill, equating to 64%.

Coca-Cola’s innovative new communications approach is the latest in a line of examples of companies embracing digital platforms to promote sustainability.

An ever-increasing number TV adverts are appearing that carry subtle messages about promoting more sustainable living standards and products. Kenco’s coffee vs gangs advert highlights the transformative role of sustainable farming practices, while Unilever’s Project Sunlight adverts aims to encourage millions to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. 

Matt Mace

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