Coca-Cola’s Brand-sational World Expo Pavillion

May 15th, 2010   •   2 comments   

My visit to the Coca-Cola Pavillion at the Shanghai World Expo was certainly one of the highlights of my trip. As a geek who firmly believes in the virtues of experiential marketing, branded entertainment and transmedia storytelling, I was almost brought to tears (fanboy style) by Coke’s immaculate attention to details here.

Every single consumer touchpoint in its pavillion, fashioned after its world-famous “Happiness Factory” transmedia campaign, was a 360 degree brand encounter. The entire holistic and immersive experience was orchestrated to stimulate the senses, from sight, sound, scent, taste to touch. For Coca-Cola fans, it was also highly emotional and community bonding.

Let me bring you through the journey.
P1150868
We were all pretty excited as we board the Coca-Cola bus which brought us to the World Expo site adjacent to the Huangpu River.

P1150860
Here are some of the passes, tickets and wrist-bands needed to gain exclusive entry.

P1150875
At the Expo site, we were greeted by these chirpy employees from Coke, who acknowledged us as Coca-Cola VIPs.

P1150961
Here’s how the “Happiness Factory” aka Coca-Cola pavillion looks like.

P1150887
Drink stands like these were everywhere at the World Expo site, courtesy of Coca-Cola, the official beverage sponsor.

P1150881
These characters from the Happiness Factory were ubiquitous. Over there, they are perched cheekily on top of a roof.

P1150894
More of the Coke characters “performing” on a stage. Perfect for photo moments.

P1150897
Once inside the pavillion, these various Coke memorabilia greeted me in the factory like setting. The text panel here highlighted Coke’s environmental sustainability initiatives.

P1150899
Smile and say “cheese” at the Employee of the Month corner!

P1150900
Along the way, we were greeted by screens like these showing introductory “pre-briefing” videos. The anticipation was similar to that of visiting a theme park ride at Universal Studios or Disneyland.

P1150911
Once inside the scarlet red theatre (of course!), we seated ourselves comfortably for the main event.

P1150910
Members of the audience could be heard gasping, “Oohing”, and “Aahing” during the screening of the short Happiness Factory movie.


Unfortunately, I can’t bring that screening to you. However, the Happiness Factory movie above (which shows what happens inside a vending machine) may be a good representation.

P1150934
After that cinematic experience, we were ushered out and greeted by more 3D Coke characters.

P1150920
Everybody was given a special sized bottle of Coke, chilled to between -2 and -5 deg Celcius.

P1150919
Here’s my bottle of refreshment as I await the most exciting moment in the pavillion…

P1150922
…and that was of course drinking it. However, we were taught by this girl to turn the bottle a few times, twist open the cap to let some gas escape, and witness the formation of ice crystals in the drink before imbibing it. The taste was awesome of course.

P1150923
More snowy characters from the set of the Happiness Factory.

P1150926
These little posters on the ceiling were full of friendly sayings on how you can use your Coke.

P1150930
I couldn’t resist this photo opportunity next to a giant bottle of Coke and those luscious lips!

P1150946
Outside the pavillion, I chanced upon this souvenir shop and bought some collector’s item bottles.

P1150948
A showcase of Coke bottles through the ages. Yes, the brand is 124 years old in 2010!

P1150951
These young kids enjoyed posing with the characters, while watching out for those bright red lips.


Kids brightly dressed in national costumes with equally bright smiles preparing for a performance on stage. (photo courtesy of Coke)

P1150958
On one of the walls, Alvin and myself couldn’t resist striking some silly poses. Feels like a “Where’s Wally” game.

P1150960
The ultimate tribute to Coke’s birthday celebration by one of our fellow bloggers from Korea.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 comments

  1. posted on May 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Why so much about Coca-Cola?

  2. posted on May 16, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    woah..nice one man..when did you go to Shanghai? I was hoping to visit the World Expo one day..but aye..my wallet kept saying no..LOL..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *