The instantly hummable soundtrack to Coke’s new global marketing campaign will make its way into the heads – and onto the playlists – of music fans around the world starting this week.
“Taste the Feeling” features the studio wizardry of Swedish DJ, artist and producer Avicii with the addition of the soulful voice of Conrad Sewell, the London-born, Australia-raised newcomer featured in Kygo’s breakout 2015 single “Firestone.”
A first acoustic version by Conrad is being featured in various TV spots for the new campaign, which Coke revealed today during a media event in Paris, and the lead single with Avicii will be released soon. Avicii also will produce additional releases of “Taste the Feeling” for Coke’s UEFA EURO 2016 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games campaign later this year.
Last summer, Coca-Cola started working on a new song inspired by the “Taste the Feeling” creative idea, which celebrates the everyday moments made more special by any Coca-Cola.
“As we searched for the perfect song, this one stood out from day one as something really special,” said Joe Belliotti, head of global music for The Coca-Cola Company.
From there, Coke began the search for a producer. “Partnering with artists starts with finding someone who loves Coca-Cola and is genuinely passionate about the brand and product,” Joe explained.
“You also want to find artists who can bring their own personality to a song while maintaining the Coca-Cola sound. That’s how we landed on Avicii. We’ve worked with him since 2011 on several projects, and he knows how to create optimistic, uplifting music that resonates with listeners around the world. He has a melodic and musical sensibility that draws you in… He creates songs with a modern feel with traditional instruments in the mix.”
“This project was a no-brainer for me in many ways,” Avicii said. “Coca-Cola is one of the brands and long-term relationships where I don’t have to compromise on my own integrity and persona to get behind. I really liked the original demo and after some intense weeks in the studio working on the production and trying to nail down the right vocalist for the song, we were able to present a finished version to Joe and the team that just turned out amazing.”
The team’s focus then shifted to finding to find the right voice for the song. Conrad Sewell – a 27-year-old star in Australia and Europe who’s starting to break through in the U.S. – immediately jumped out.
“When we first heard Conrad sing live, we were blown away,” Joe said. “He’s gifted with an exceptionally beautiful voice.
Lyor Cohen, CEO of 300 Entertainment, Conrad’s record label, added: “Sensational and true artists like Conrad are the backbone of 300 Entertainment. We are so glad Coca-Cola shares our enthusiasm for Conrad's artistry.”
The offer was one Conrad couldn’t refuse. “I heard the song and thought it had a great, global message of bringing people together, which is what I try to capture with my music. It didn’t sound like a typical ad song… It sounded like a hit.”
Conrad added, “I felt like it was a massive opportunity to become a Coca-Cola artist and join the many other musicians I look up to who have been involved with such an iconic brand.”
In December, he flew to Stockholm and spent three days with Avicii arranging and recording a special remix of the song. “It was amazing to see him add his magic and bring a dance vibe to the song,” Conrad said.
“Taste the Feeling” includes a new audio signature inspired by the sounds of enjoying a Coca-Cola – the pop of the cap, the fizz and, ultimately, refreshment. The mnemonic, created in partnership with Deviant Ventures, replaces the five-note melody featured in the “Open Happiness” campaign.
"It was key for us to not only create a memorable and timeless mnemonic but also to make the tagline hummable and singable,” said Umut Ozaydinli, chief of possibilities at Deviant Ventures.
“It all stems from the ‘Taste the Feeling’ strategy, which is really around bringing back Coke the product into the forefront,” Joe said. “That’s what we used as inspiration for the new signature. When you hear it you’ll hear a soundscape of Coca-Cola sounds, with the ‘Taste the Feeling’ tagline added.”
In fact, “Taste the Feeling” is the first Coke-branded song in recent memory to include the brand name (Coca-Cola is mentioned twice) and tagline in the lyrics.
“It’s a feel-good song I think people will enjoy and want to download. I’m proud to stand behind it,” said Conrad, who recently released his debut EP, All I Know, and kicks off a U.S. tour tomorrow night in New York City.
From distributing sheet music for family sing-a-longs in 1905 and “teaching the world to sing” in the 1971 “Hilltop” commercial, to a partnership with Spotify in 2012, Coca-Cola has used music to tell its story bring its campaigns into the pop culture lexicon for over a century.
“It’s always our ambition to continue this tradition by featuring great music in our campaigns that people will remember and love decades from now,” Joe said. “And I hope we’ve done that with this new campaign.”