The Freetown Cold Storage company (FCSC) on Friday presented Coca Cola commemorative cans to Awoko and Premier News newspapers marking the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
The drinks were presented two hours before the official opening of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Presenting the commemorative packs to the editorial teams of the newspapers, the General Manager of the FCSC, Eric Djibo said it was part of the brand’s endeavour to share Coca-Cola’s uniquely Chinese message of “Delicious Happiness” with people in more than 150 countries around the world.
He said that in China, the “Delicious Happiness” expression for generations had been inextricably tied to the trademark for Coke, as printed in Chinese.
Apart from Chinese and others familiar with China’s official language of Mandarin, perhaps few people realize the Chinese characters that spell out the brand can be translated to the words “Delicious Happiness.”
The quirky history of the interpretation goes all the way back to the introduction of Coke on the Chinese mainland in 1927, coincidentally around the time the Coca-Cola Company was first becoming involved with the Olympic Games.
“Roughly 80 years later, as we celebrate the first Olympic Games in China, Coca-Cola is spreading around the world the sentiment of happiness that originates from its Chinese name, in a context especially meaningful for Beijing 2008,” said Kevin Tressler, director, Worldwide Sports and Entertainment Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company.
“Making this commemorative, Chinese-language packaging for the Olympic Games available in so many countries at one time is unprecedented. It is the single largest commemorative packaging series ever undertaken by The Coca-Cola Company,” he added.
The special labelling on the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games commemorative packaging features the Chinese characters used to phonetically pronounce “Coca-Cola”.
Depending on the participating country, the special Chinese trademark graphics are being applied on cans, glass contour bottles, PET plastic bottles, or aluminium bottles of Coca-Cola. Along with the Chinese rendition of the trademark in the familiar Coca-Cola Spenserian script, the traditional spelling of Coca-Cola in the local language also will appear on the commemorative bottles or cans where they are sold.
In addition, the graphics feature the Olympic Rings, the date 08.08.08 representing the start of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 8 and other imagery associated with the Coca-Cola sponsorship of the Games.
Local availability of the collectible packaging is expected to begin during the final weeks leading up to Beijing 2008 and to last through the end of the Games. The commemorative items will be promoted locally through a variety of marketing activities in the scores of countries where the special packs are sold. The specially marked bottles and cans will feature the additional imprinted message: “In Mandarin, Coca-Cola means ‘delicious happiness.’” In numerous countries, a second message, “In Mandarin, Coca-Cola is pronounced ‘ke kou ke le,’” also will appear.When Coca-Cola was first launched in China in 1927 the trademark in English had to be represented in the characters of a completely different alphabet. Officials of The Coca-Cola Company in China selected four Chinese characters which, when combined, approximated the English sound of “Coca-Cola.” The symbols were registered as the first trademark for the brand in a written Chinese language.
By Ophaniel Gooding