This month, Coca-Cola partnered with popular EDM artist Marshmello to release a new limited-edition flavor: Coke with strawberry and watermelon. Beloved for his killer beats and bizarre marshmallow-shaped helmet, music producer and DJ Marshmello boasts a whopping 43 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
An interactive collaboration
According to a press release, Coca-Cola brought Marshmello to Atlanta for a tour of the archives and a collaborative workshop to create the flavor, which comes in regular and zero-sugar versions:
The artist doodled on whiteboards with Coke creatives, experimented with tastes crafted by R&D flavor scientists sipped through a custom-created straw to fit Marshmello’s trademark helmet, and brainstormed experiential concepts with brand and marketing teams.
The release is also part of a promotional push for Marshmellos’ latest single, “Numb.” A Twitch activation is available as part of the campaign, accessible via a QR code linking to the Coca-Cola Creations hub where consumers can listen to the single and create their own digital art.
Though the partnership is Coca-Cola’s first time co-creating a drink with an artist, it is not the first of its unconventional new flavor releases from the new Coca-Cola Creations platform, which endeavors to make Coca-Cola a lifestyle brand through experiential and product marketing. Recently, the project released two flavors centered around pop culture topics: Starlight (following the Space X launch hype) and Byte, which strove to generate interest in the metaverse.
Oana Vlad, senior director, global strategy at the Coca-Cola Company, hopes that these new flavors are just the beginning of a path to reaching younger generations:
“The novelty and unexpectedness of these innovations are driving curiosity and inviting people to engage with the brand. We’re also seeing that taking a more experiential route with our marketing through digital experiences, licensing partnerships and creative collaborations is a meaningful and fresh way to reach younger consumers.”