Coca-Cola and Time Out Made a Global Travel Guide Inspired by Cultural Moments


Coca-Cola partnered with Time Out to create a new travel guide of food destinations inspired by culture and entertainment.

The beverage brand and the media company produced an interactive map of “Foodmarks,” 413 places around the world that have hosted memorable meals paired with Coke over the decades. The campaign, a continuation of last year’s “A Recipe for Magic,” also involves five immersive experiences re-creating moments from entertainment that featured the beverage.

Developed by WPP Open X led by Ogilvy, the effort will kick off Feb. 16 and 17 in New York with a nostalgic experience inspired by a famous 1957 photo of Marilyn Monroe stopping Manhattan traffic to enjoy a hot dog and Coke from a street cart. The event will include theater, dance, shops and a virtual Monroe brought to life through artificial intelligence.

The photograph of Monroe served as the initial inspiration for Foodmarks, Coca-Cola senior global creative strategy director Islam ElDessouky told ADWEEK.

“This triggered us to think we are probably in thousands, if not millions, of moments that people can relate to,” ElDessouky said. “The idea became to introduce the world to something like the Michelin Guide in terms of guiding people to certain places. But we want it to be very accessible.”

The campaign will continue throughout the spring with four more Foodmarks events.

On March 1, the brand will open a 1980s-themed restaurant and concert venue in Rio de Janeiro based on a picture of Brazilian rock musician Cazuza relaxing with pizza and Coke after a show.

A pop-up store in Hong Kong, running March 8 through 10, is based on 1996 comedy The God of Cookery.

And a March 8 event in New Delhi will use augmented reality and AI to re-create meals that 1950s Bollywood star Raj Kapoor used to share on set.

The campaign then heads to Bangkok in April with a street food experience.

A global ambition

The Monroe event in New York quickly sold out, but influencers attending the events will help amplify the campaign on social channels.

WPP Open X facilitated the partnership with Time Out Media, which already advises readers on where to dine and hang out. Time Out suggested the idea of an interactive map of restaurants, chosen by a mix of its journalists and members of its Tastemakers influencer network.

Coca-Cola plans to add more destinations to the guide in coming weeks, with the goal of building an extensive archive “of every Foodmark that exists in culture, movies, series or whatnot,” ElDessouky said.

While ElDessouky said the interactive experiences are mostly targeting younger consumers, he believes the campaign can reach anyone.

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