I just saw the most amazing story about advertising and want to share it with all of you. In celebration of digital advertising turning 18, Google is championing a project that asks a very interesting thought-provoking question about classic advertising and answers it with an enlightening and charming series. The project is called, “Project Re: Brief” and asks how the originators of some the greatest, most memorable iconic advertising in history might “Re-imagine” the same idea after forty years and apply it to today’s audiences using today’s digital marketing tools.
It’s a fascinating question and the series delivers the delightful and inspiring answer. In the first project, Google approaches the legend, Harvey Gabor, one of the members of the creative team that developed the “Hilltop” coke commercial that has become a part of advertising, brand and coca-cola history. Google asks Mr. Gabor to talk about the how the idea came to him and the agency and then a team from Google brainstorms with the legendary creative to develop a concept that might work today and on the web.
Gabor then has the opportunity to present his concept to the marketing team at Coke and the whole process is captured and recorded digitally for everyone to see and experience. Mr. Gabor explains that the essence of the idea for the classic “Hilltop” television spot was to “connect with people” and “buy or share a coke with the world.” Gabor and the agency communicated this idea originally by showing one person, alone on a hilltop singing a song and slowly joined by more people, also singing (and drinking cokes) to represent the world. As you know or hopefully remember, the spot ends with a birds-eye view, arial shot of a huge group of multi-national people all singing the famous Coke anthem, “I’d like to buy the world a coke….”
The idea he develops and presents to Coke is amazing and the marketing team at Coke loves it. The idea is for people to be able to actually “buy a coke and send it to a vending machine anywhere in the world.” The Coke team actually moves forward with the idea and the documentary captures and demonstrates how they actually have Engineers develop a vending machine that can execute this wish to “buy a Coke” in real time for anyone in the world.
It’s a brilliant solution and shows that the strength of a great idea and how it can be applied not only to any variety of mediums but holds up even after some forty years. A great idea is a great idea and Google helps us to see that great advertising can be created online and in our new digital world. It’s a very thought-provoking question to ask and an inspiring project. So in the same spirit as the idea, “to share a Coke with a friend,” I wanted to share it with you.