BOGOTÁ – Fanta is making a big splash in 2017 with a new visual identity, new bottle, new branded content co-created by young people, and new recipes in certain markets. And what better way to unveil this evolution with an immersive event focused on the brand’s past, present and future.

The Maloka Theme Park in the Colombian capital hosted Fanta's official re-launch event last week for Coke’s Latin Center Business Unit. Social media influencers, journalists, partners and Coca-Cola employees joined the festivities.

Fanta Colombia

"Like Fanta, the event aimed at being a multi-sensory, vibrant experience that reminded us of Fanta’s history, but also pointed out where we are going and how we are co-creating and communicating Fanta's innovations through young people," said John Pinto, vice president of marketing, Coca-Cola Latin Center.

As they entered the venue, guests could see a wall visualizing the history of Fanta, from its beginning in Naples, Italy in 1955, to its journey around the world. The space transitioned to a place where youngsters are building this brand’s new era.

Fanta Colombia

On the main floor, guests played air hockey, foosball football and arcade games, and took turns on a gravity-deflecting trampoline. A 180-degree photo booth recorded groups of friends jumping with Fanta in slow motion.

Fanta Colombia

The lights dimmed and Colombian actor and YouTuber Javier Ramirez came down a staircase trailed by a vibrant orange light. Ramirez with a tablet and cell phone in hand, announced the hashtag of the night, #FantaConJugo, and took a selfie that marked the beginning of a series of tweets that helped make Fanta a trending topic for several hours in Colombia.

Rodolfo Echeverría, global vice president of creative and connections for The Coca-Cola Company, joined Ramirez to present Fanta’s new recipe, visual identity and marketing strategy, and to introduce the brand’s new advertising.

Fanta Colombia Teens

Finally, symbolically surrendering the spotlight to the young people who will steward the next phase of Fanta’s journey, Echeverría stepped down, and Ramirez revealed the new Fanta logo illuminated by huge neon signs. Meanwhile, a group of Fanta ambassadors kicked off the party and invited the young and young at heart to enjoy Fanta and the fun, festive music of the Freaky Collective.

In a post-launch interview, Echeverría explained how Fanta’s new strategy is rooted in young people co-creating content with the brand.

Rodolfo Fanta

What is the relationship between young people and Fanta? Why are you giving them control now?

The relationship young people have with Fanta, the brand and the product, is very interesting. We asked them what they think of the drink, and they know a lot more than we thought – about what Fanta is, and what their life and relationship with the brand actually is.

We concluded that we have to pay more attention to young people because they are experts in several areas: fun, technology, sharing good times with friends, And they are Fanta experts, too.

What we are sharing through the campaign comes directly from them, from their insights. Their creativity, how they perceive life. Our mission is to keep Fanta’s great taste while adding fruit juice. Also, we reduced the calorie content and created a new modern, visual identity. (NOTE: Fanta reformulations are being driven at the country level.)

And how do we tell this story? It’s simple: through content created with them. So, we are taking a drink young people love to a higher level, creating new connections and making sure we are relevant among youngsters.

One of the main changes is the co-creation with young people. How can they get involved with the strategy?

We are inviting them to participate through several platforms, like the hashtag #takeoverfanta, but mostly through takeover.fanta.com, where young people can find modules and join different forms of content creation. Some want to contribute with music and videos, while others may contribute what those of us in advertising call “copy”. Through these elements, we will enable and promote the participation of young people, by means of a simple invitation to share ideas. The fact that it is more structured and organized allows us to know what we are getting and how we want to use that creativity provided directly by young people.

The new advertising spots include the figure of the conventional marketer, represented by Ted. What is it like for The Coca-Cola Company? Do you see Ted in yourselves?

This is one of the funniest parts of the campaign. Young people have always shown great respect for their elders, teachers, authority figures. This is not a question of revolution or substituting adults. Young people simply found it fun to participate in the development of the brand’s marketing and its communication.

This “old guard” character is very nice, and Ted really, I find it hard to say (laughs), represents many of us who often have a marketing book that says "we should have a sponsorship, a slogan, music for each brand”. Young people are more flexible. They have told us that "we can live without any association." It's interesting to appreciate the balance between Ted and Alex, our Fanta “Teen Marketing Officer”.