Musical brand

Sprite taps international musicians for world’s first brand platform

Diving brief:

  • Sprite has launched Sprite Limelight, its first unified global music program, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. The music program supports the Coca-Cola brand’s recently launched global brand story, “Heat Happens.”
  • As part of Sprite Limelight, Grammy-winning musician James Blake has produced a hook and lyrics that will then be used to create original songs by emerging artists around the world, including American rapper-singer Coi Leray, l Nigerian singer-songwriter Omah Lay and Chinese singer Hua Chenyu. The resulting songs and documentary-style musical films will be available on YouTube and Spotify.
  • The content was created with Universal Music Group for Brands, and Sprite leverages Coca-Cola’s new OpenX agency partnership with WPP for “amplification”. The musical effort is the latest example of a CPG brand forgoing traditional advertising for an activation around culture.

Overview of the dive:

With Sprite Limelight, the Coca-Cola soda brand seeks to connect music fans across borders to tap into culture around the world. Such cultural games have become a favorite tactic of marketers seeking to attract the attention of young consumers who have growing purchasing power but are unreceptive to traditional advertising. This type of musical endeavor isn’t new to Sprite — which has long fostered a connection to hip-hop culture — but represents a global expansion of past endeavors.

Creating original songs related to branding efforts is a popular marketing tactic, which Sprite uses with a global audience in mind. Blake, an English singer-songwriter who won a Grammy Award and the Mercury Prize, has collaborated with some of the biggest names in pop music. Meanwhile, his collaborators could help Sprite connect with even younger consumers and/or in growing markets: Coi Leray and Omah Lay have found viral success on social platforms, while Hua Chenyu is a rising star. China.

“Sprite Limelight offers a unique opportunity for fans to discover new music, through a reimagined hook in three different ways. It also provides a window into how they make music, as well as their own personal experiences – related to our core brand philosophy – to stay cool in those times when the heat of life is intense,” Shrenik Dasani, Sprite’s Global Brand Director, said in a statement.

The music program is an extension of Sprite’s first global brand platform, “The heat is coming“, which launched in May and was accompanied by a visual refresh. “Heat Happens” enters an increasingly hot world – whether literally, due to the effects of climate change, or politically and socially – and seeks to offer a moment of respite to consumers.

“Heat Happens” will roll out in 2022 and is the first global release from OpenX, the bespoke team created last year by The Coca-Cola Company’s global marketing network partner, WPP. OpenX supports Sprite Limelight amplification, which features content created by Universal Music Group for Brands. OpenX’s integrated agency model was born out of a massive agency review that began in December 2020 as Coca-Cola sought to drive long-term growth by transforming efficiency and efficiency of its marketing.