The Colours of Summer

A Look Under the Coca‑Cola Rainbow


With summer just around the corner, opening the fridge in your local corner-store is about to unleash a veritable rainbow.

“Everyone has an individual expression of themselves, and often they express that style through colour,” explained Coca‑Cola brand manager, Angeline Lee. “We are embracing that self-expression through colourful summer packaging – six unique versions of the 250ml variety.”

Along with the classic Coke red, five limited edition colours will be available: blue, lime green, pink, purple and orange. “From a design perspective we were really careful about retaining that vibrancy of Coke,” said Angeline. “They really need to jump out on the shelf, so the boldness of the colour was really important for us.”

In Full Colour


Creating the multi-colour campaign wasn’t as simple as choosing the palette and pushing a button. Modern production lines are built around speed and repetition, so altering colours proved a challenging task.

“The biggest challenge was to get the variation in market, so one shop didn’t get all green cans and another shop get all orange cans,” said packaging graphics manager, Gary Burke. “We wanted to try and mix them up.”

The Coca‑Colaproduction line is highly automated, and normally a pallet of Coke comes in a lot of 10,000. Using an innovative two-colour printing technique, the packaging team figured out how to print two different colours on a single line. “It’s the first time we’ve ever managed to intersect two different designs down the one line,” said Gary. 

Something for Everyone

However, that only left pallets with selections of two colours, where each really needed to have five. So, the packaging team returned to a longstanding tradition to ensure shop-owners received a selection of different coloured cans. “We decided to manually re-stack a pallet,” explained Jacqui Rooney, supply chain commercialisation manager. “We had three different pallets, each with two different colours. We’d take one layer off each pallet and manually rebuild it.” 

While it might sound simple, there were complex logistics behind shipping cans from two different manufacturing plants in two different states to a central location, where the pallets would be randomised. According to Angeline, this detailed approach is backing a disruptive and innovative campaign. “The limited edition coloured cans are just the starting point,” she said.

Limited edition coloured cans of Coca‑Cola and Coke Zero will be available in-store nationwide from November – what’s your colour of summer?

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