The Print Poem that Launched the Coke Campaign

There’s a coke for he, and she

and her, and me, and them

There’s a different coke for all of us – 

especially one for him.


No feet have wandered where you’ve walked, 

no eyes saw what you’ve seen

No one lived the life you live,

No head has held your dreams.


To act the same would be mundane – 

What a boring thing to do!

That’s why there is just one me

and a billion unique yous.


We all have different looks and loves,

Likes and Dislikes too – 

but there’s a coke for we and us,

and there’s a coke for you.

-Enjoy yours –

It was striking in its simplicity – and that may be what set Coca-Cola’s “The Wonder of Us” campaign apart among the glitz, glamour and goofiness of February’s advertising frenzy.

“Advertising doesn’t get bigger than the annual Super Bowl spot. And when the brand in question is Coca-Cola, you can expect something extraordinary,” notes this post in Print Power. “But this year, there was an extra element of surprise: they launched their campaign via print.”

Designed by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, the 2018 media campaign harkened back to the classic “Buy the World a Coke” from 1971 with its message of harmony and inclusion. And perhaps the most intriguing facet of the campaign is that it didn’t wait until the game to launch, but debuted on the back page of the Sunday Arts section in that morning’s New York Times.

The campaign featured a poem written by in-house copywriter and poet Becca Wadlinger, who believes print was absolutely the right way to launch the multi-channel experience. 

“Print has a static quality that TV, digital and online video cannot offer,” explained Wadlinger. “The engagement these other media give is fleeting. We felt that the first time Coca-Cola put this message into the world, it should be delivered with confidence that underlines the commitment behind it.”

That message – a powerful one of inclusion for all – translated beautifully into print, with the poem featuring handwritten script from different people. From there, the message extended onto TV, social, and even the big screen in Times Square.

“Coca-Cola prides itself on inclusivity and its democratic appeal,” said Alex Barwick, group communications director. “So we chose channels that allowed us to speak to people from all different walks of life in slightly different ways: the biggest stage in advertising during the Super Bowl; in Times Square and in Coke’s social channels; and in the newspapers where we could make a statement.”

“It stood out against the lowbrow humour or glitzy celebrity of the Super Bowl advertising landscape,” claims Wadlinger. “While tackling the serious and divisive issue of equality in America’s current political climate, the poem was steadfast in its optimism and ability to be linguistically playful.”

Was it a success? Given the total impressions and amount of news coverage, it certainly was for Coca-Cola. And it was a win for print, too, proving that when the message matters and needs to stick around, print is the right medium for the job.