Coca-Cola’s Social Accounts Go Dark, to Bring Light to the Internet



In one swoop, Coca-Cola’s social presence adapted to celebrate its values and realigned to create a more consistent visual brand.


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If you happened to take a peek at Coca-Cola’s North American social feeds over Veteran’s Day weekend, you might have noticed something curious: they were blank.

The company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts went dark for a time, with only a red and white “refresh” logo displayed. But they sprang back to life on World Kindness Day with a new message and new look.

Embracing their status as “the most optimistic brand on social media,” Coca-Cola returned on November 13th with a distinct new look and image. According to AdWeek, the goal of this particular refresh strategy was “for Coke’s more than 8 million followers in the US to engage with the content and share the simple, yet actionable, messages of positivity with their networks.” The art was the result of collaborations with four street artists who created custom art for the company: Atlanta’s Greg Mike, Zurich’s Stefan Kunz, Brooklyn’s Ricardo Gonzalez, and NYC’s Timothy Goodman.

Sarah Traverso, group director for Coca-Cola’s in-house Social Center, drew the connection between brand identity and brand imagery. “Our fans are looking for things that make them smile, which is a great insight for Coca-Cola because it aligns to our values of optimism, uplift, and bringing people together to share moments of happiness.” She also appreciated the project as an opportunity to create a more consistent brand image for Coke. “While we’re proud of [our old feeds], it didn’t feel like it was coming from one cohesive point of view.” The resulting refresh of the feed was therefore figurative and literal. “This is meant to be a visual punctuation…a real shift.”

To execute the shift, accounts went dark from Friday, November 9th to Tuesday, November 13th. Instagram is the only platform that would allow the brand to execute a “full refresh,” or remove all posts; Traverso says only about 50% of the old content, that which most aligns to the new look, is slated for possible return. For their Facebook and Twitter accounts, blank posts were inserted and profile photos were changed to the mysterious red and white refresh icon. “This is really a great moment in time for us to reset, holistically, our social strategy on the Coke brand handles.”

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