There is an elite group of companies that have been around for over 100 years, and an even more elite group that have become iconic in our culture, like Coca-Cola. Since 1886, Coca-Cola has not only captured our hearts with its refreshing taste, but also its popular taglines. With 46 different taglines over 130 years, the brand has gone from ‘Delicious and Refreshing’ to ‘Taste the Feeling.’
‘Taste the Feeling’ is Coca-Cola’s newest tagline replacing ‘Open Happiness’ after seven years. ‘Open Happiness’ was a successful campaign; it brought emotion to the product causing consumers to “feel something.” Even though it was considered a success, a few brand experts would say that it was a little too philosophical. The phrase ‘Open Happiness’ can be said about a variety of different things and doesn’t necessarily speak to Coke as a product. But the new tag line, ‘Taste the Feeling,’ connects with Coke not only as a product and with the physical aspect of tasting the product, but also with the more emotional, sentimental, or nostalgic aspect of Coca-Cola—the feeling it gives you.
“We want to help remind people why they love the product as much as they love the brand,” said Chief Marking Officer Marcos de Quinto. “We’re going from ‘Open Happiness’ to exploring the role Coca-Cola plays in happiness. We make simple, everyday moments more special.”
Geoff Cook, founding partner of Base Design, thinks drawing the focus back to product could land Coke in a sticky situation down the road. “Coca-Cola is in one of the more unique positions that I’ve ever seen: The brand is revered and the product is increasingly reviled,” said Cook. “Brand strategies or tactics can deflect from larger issues, but fundamentally, …there’s been a shift toward more healthful living. And until they actively change the product [to be healthier] and change the public’s perception of the product, the new brand initiatives will ring hollow.”
If Cook is correct, we may see a quick switch to another tagline, but only time will tell. Until then, take a stroll down memory lane with the last 130 years of Coca-Cola taglines.