Posts Tagged ‘green’

Coca Cola Life highlights problems of going green

by Alex Benady

Latin Americans seem to be experimenting a lot with Coke these days.

Three weeks ago it was an ice bottle in Colombia. This week it’s a green bottle in Argentina.

‘Coca Cola Life’ as it has been branded, is a new formulation of the world’s favourite soft drink that includes a mix of sugar and naturally sourced sugar substitute Stevia. As a result a 600 ml bottle has only 108 calories compared to the usual 250.

In addition Coca-Cola Life is packaged in the company’s PlantBottle, which is the first recyclable bottle made from petroleum-based materials and up to 30% plant-based materials. The hope is to create a 100% plant-based bottle in the future.

To wrap it all up, the new bottle has a rather undelicious and unrefreshing green label –surprisingly close to the ‘don’t smoke me’ olive green now used on Australian fag packets.

Executional questions aside, the new product highlights a real debate about how companies should approach green issues. Should they use green improvements as tactical/promotional devices like Coke Life seems to? Or should they embody them deep in the strategic direction of the company -like Unilever?

There is a school of thought that goes, because governments and consumers are too short term and expedient in their thinking, the lead on environmental issues has to come from corporations. Unilever has acted radically to help address this short termism by making profound adjustments to the way it operates. Most notably it has abolished quarterly financial reporting.

In contrast Coca Cola Life has all the appearance of a consumer option, not a company compulsion. In fairness to Coca Cola, while Coke Life looks like a tactical response to the environmental issue, it is quietly rolling out the Plantbottle in nine different countries. So it is serious.

But in Argentina Coke may have taken the route it has because it has a rather unique problem. One that many brands would love to have. The brand has become a straightjacket. Coke consumers are so loyal and so traditional that it cannot mess with its ingredients. Remember the New Coke fiasco in the 1980’s?

It would have been impossible for Coca Cola to launch this product under the classic Coke livery. But this puts it in a quandary. How do you embody profound changes in your product if your consumers wont let you? ENDS


Taking Time Out to consider customers

by Alex Ririe

I’m a subscriber to Time Out magazine and I’ve just received an email from them with a link to a digital version of this week’s magazine. It’s a free service and they have very kindly created this format for me so that I don’t miss out on any upcoming events because of the postal strike. And, I’m reliably informed, they will continue to produce a digital version until Royal Mail industrial action ends.

How cool is that? I’m really impressed. Not only because here’s a brand that is being proactive and thinking of its loyal subscribers but also because I actually love the format!

As a bit of a ‘green’ I’d actually be really up for receiving my mag in this way EVERY week, strike or no strike. I also find the growing pile of Time Outs on my living room table is getting a bit out of hand… but I don’t want to throw them out in case I need to reference one of them at some point in the future! In this new digital format, perhaps they could be stored in the Cloud for me to access at any time? There’s something so much nicer about the magazine layout and design than having to navigate the web page.

Nice one Time Out.

There’s two sides to every story

by Ellen Munro

With Coley Porter Bell being a design agency, inevitably, we print things. A lot. Our recycling bins fill up very quickly. Recycling’s great, but how about the other R, re-using?

We decided to take printed paper that was no longer needed and turn it into A5 notepads. By folding the pages inwards and ring binding, we’re left with fully blank pages ready to be scribbled on. An energetic painerly stenciled version of our logo adds colour to the covers. They’ll only ever be for internal use and thanks to the help of our ever enthusiastic placements, Hannah and Carina, all our desks are now graced with one. With printing not likely to cease any time soon, there will be plenty of paper for replacements too. Then of course, we can recycle the first ones!

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