Atlanta’s “World of Coke” – a shrine to a brand

World of Coke

The World of Coke center in Atlanta, GA

We all know that when it comes to integrated marketing, Coke is pretty much the king.  From television to print ads, online content and more, Coke knows how to integrate it’s marketing channels.

But Coke’s taken it one step further — creating a shrine to the Coke brand.

A visit to the World of Coke in Atlanta, GA is a must-do for any marketing aficionado.  From the first moment you want in the modern-style building, it’s clear this is a place where you’ll get to experience some of the history and insight of one of the world’s greatest marketing brands.

 

World of Coke

From the first moment, the Coke brand is everywhere to be seen.

What makes a visit to the World of Coke so special is that it presents a history of global advertising of a single brand.  Students of marketing can draw inspiration from the design and themes found in more than 100 years of advertising creatives.

World of Coke

Who could pass up a chance for a photo with those loveable Coke polar bears?

Coke has even learned a thing or two from Disney by having a costumed character available for meet and greets (and being a Disney guy, I have to say the articulation of this character is superb)!

World of Coke

The vault allows guests to step into see some of Coke’s “secrets.”

One of the questions that’s often asked is “what is Coke’s greatest asset?”  I’ll give you my answer a little later, but for now, let’s step inside The Vault, an experience where guests have the opportunity to try their hand at guessing the secret formula and learning more about how the drink came to be, thanks to Dr. Pemberton, and how a simple soft drink turned into one of the world’s most recognizable and identifiable brands.

At the end of this experience, guests can actually see the actual vault where the only written copy of the Coke secret formula is kept.  Coke does a great job of inserting a lot of mystery and intrigue with this reveal.  All you’re really seeing is a high tech safe, but it sure feels exciting!

 

World of Coke

Try your hand at Coke products from around the world.

There are many, many more brands made by Coke than just those found here in the United States.  At the World of Coke, you can sample different Coke drinks from all around the world – some of them are pretty good and some, well, not so much.  A watermelon-flavored drink?  How about one made from ginseng?  And then there’s the Beverly from Italy.  I won’t spoil the surprise for you, heh, heh.

World of Coke

The World of Coke has it’s own small bottling plant that creates exclusive bottles just for this location.

Of course, no visit to the World of Coke would be complete without your own souvenir bottle of Coke?  Best of all, it’s free, but one to a guest, please!

World of Coke

The World of Coke gift shop is nirvana for Coke brand enthusiasts

And what would a visit to any sort of area attraction be without… yep — a gift shop.  Here you can find all sorts of Coke-branded products from shirts and balls to those iconic Coke glasses and retro ads.

So there you have it — a quick tour through just part of the World of Coke in Atlanta.  Oh?  What the answer to the question, “what’s Coke’s most valuable asset?”  You might think it was that secret formula in the vault, but you’d probably be wrong.

What’s their most valuable asset?  You’ve seen it this whole time.  Here it is:

 

Coke logo

That’s right.  It’s their brand.  You see, you could give a Coke person any other cola in a Coke branded cup and they’ll prefer it over the same drink in a non-Coke branded cup.  I recently saw a presentation on a brain study done at Virginia Tech that did this exact experiment.  If I find the published research, I’ll try to post it sometime.

So there you have it.  Time for me to go grab a drink, and, you guessed it, I’m reaching for a Coke.

Enjoy!

Chuck Lionberger, APR

 

 

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7 Responses to Atlanta’s “World of Coke” – a shrine to a brand

  1. dayney says:

    Hi Chuck,

    Thanks for the tour of the Coke museum. It reminds me of Disneyland where every ride dumps into a gift shop. I totally see your point about it’s name being the company’s most valuable asset, but I don’t think I agree with the study you refer to. I drink soda and prefer Coke, but I could definitely tell you if I was drinking Coke or another brand regardless of what type of cup it was in. If you do post the study, I would love to read it to see how they conducted their research and arrived at the results.

    • clionberger says:

      The brain research states differently. Subjects were tested while in an new type of MRI and the method was pretty solid. I thought the same as you, but the research presented strongly indicated that brand identity held a very strong sway on preference, especially when it comes to Coke.

  2. kcn13 says:

    I’ll be in Georgia next week so this is very timely! I find it interesting to read your blog even though I am not a soda drinker, I am curious to explore the World of Coke. Regardless of my drink preferences, I think the branding still peaks my interest.

    It would be quite interesting to understand how they measure effectiveness of a “promotional center” like this.

    -Kristy

  3. capeyton says:

    So it looks like Dr. R was right! Coke really is King on the marketing front! No surprise. Their history is so rich, it’s no surprise that they chose to showcase it as a way to add yet another revenue stream. My stepdaughter’s friend just visited there for spring break and was THRILLED to buy some tacky purse made out of a coke can. They do a wonderful job of putting consumers in a place to consider purchases otherwise not on their radar – much like Disney.

    Brilliant that they seamlessly integrate the products not available in the US, for some that is surely reason enough to visit. Great example of a unique integration point!

  4. michael.david says:

    Hi Chuck. I love Coke! I worked for Coca Cola and it’s an amazing brand. They created trademark laws just to protect the brand and are very strict about it. The brand is always prevalent no matter where you go in the world. I have never been to the museum but this blog made me feel like I have. Great blog!

  5. aflores says:

    Hi Chuck,
    Great post – I am really interested in visiting and learning more about Coke! How do you think the brand compares to….Pepsi? I am not a soda fan, but I’ve seen Pepsi focus on celebrities where Coke’s messages evoke a more nostalgic feeling. Your thoughts?

    Adriana

  6. Allison Cordova says:

    Hi Chuck,

    Thanks for the sneak peek into the world of Coke. It looks like paradise for any marketing junkie. I like to have a Coke here and there…but I’m not a big soda fan, because of the sugar content…even if it’s Coke zero! Is there anything inside this Coke World that addresses health concerns or nutritional facts about Coke? I’m curious to know how the company has addressed this, if they have at all. Thanks!