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Project Re-Brief: Buy the World a Coke

by Kristen Wilson

I recently had the opportunity to attend the National Restaurant Association conference for the Marketing Executives Group (MEG).  The conference was held in Chicago and hosted some pretty amazing speakers.  I had the opportunity to listen to the marketing directors for Red Bull, Buffalo Wild Wings and Google.  It was an eye-opening experience.  For two days  I filled multiple notebooks with ideas and insights to bring back to the agency and our clients.

Kelly Seeman, Head of Industry for Restaurants with Google, delivered a presentation that was particularly memorable.  Her presentation encouraged consumers to take the lead by driving the use of digital media, a strategy she termed “Walk This Way.”

During her presentation, Seeman shared an initiative by Google called Project Re: Brief (  The overall concept of the project is to bring the promise of your brand to the digital world.  She opened with Coca-Cola’s iconic ‘Hilltop’ ( campaign from 1971, brought into the modern world.

To summarize, Google brought in Harvey Gabor, the Creative Director and mastermind behind the original ‘Hilltop’ campaign, and spent two days educating him on Google’s interactive capabilities.   Gabor’s vision, coupled with Google’s applications for the modern world, enabled the new-age creative team to bring Coke’s brand promise digital.  The results were astounding.

Gabor was adamant that the ‘Hilltop’ theme song remain ‘the hero.’  He explained to the team that the vision was really about humanity and should speak to each person.  The campaign was so effective 40 years ago because Coke matched personality with the brand.  The people were the real subject.  And Coke is all about connecting with people.

With modern technology and vending machines placed all over the world, the new campaign allows one to send a free Coke to someone you’ve never met.  Interactive digital capabilities are truly making the world a smaller place.

Harvey Gabor’s and Coca-Cola’s wish 40 years ago was to buy the world a Coke.  The line of the song “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” became viral.  When the best of the old world and new world met – the world got a Coke.

Always stay true to your brand personality and promise, always!  Do you have an old campaign that could be re-imagined in the digital world?  Call us.  We’d love to help you achieve it!