Did you know there is a special message for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games that appears on Coca-Cola cans and bottles worldwide?
In more than 150 countries around the world, Coke packaging is carrying a unified message: “In Mandarin, Coca-Cola means ‘delicious happiness’.” Some packages will have a second line: “In Mandarin, Coca-Cola is pronounced ‘ke kou ke le’.” (That is actually how you phonetically say it.)
In addition, the graphics feature the Olympic Rings and 08.08.08 (tomorrow's start date of the Games, August 8). Depending on the country, the special Chinese trademark graphics will appear on Coke cans, glass contour bottles, PET plastic bottles or aluminum bottles. You can see both messages on this picture of the cans.
Making this commemorative, Chinese-language packaging for the Olympic Games available in so many countries at one time is unprecedented. It’s the single largest commemorative packaging series Coke has ever undertaken. I’d say there aren’t too many other companies that could do something like this to celebrate a world event like the Olympics!
You might have seen my post about “bite the wax tadpole” – the supposed translation of Coca-Cola in China. In the 1920s, Coke created the four Chinese characters that, when combined, approximated the English sound of "Coca-Cola." As the official Mandarin-language Coca-Cola logo gained visibility, local citizens put together the first two Chinese characters in the logo to form an expression meaning “delicious” and combined the last two characters for “happiness.” The name Coca-Cola throughout China became recognized as “delicious happiness.”
You can read more about Coke, delicious happiness and our Olympic partnership on the Coca-Cola website.