Heads up: Coca-Cola transforms packaging into VR headset to promote utility in marketing

Dive Brief:

  • Coca-Cola has developed cardboard packaging that consumers can fold into a virtual reality headset. It holds their smartphone and enables them to use VR games or watch immersive movies and TV.
  • The packaging, free to consumers who buy the Coca-Cola product, resembles the cardboard foldable headset Google released in 2014.
  • The VR market is still in its infancy, but is expected to hit $70 million by 2020, which puts Coca-Cola among early adopters of the technology.

Dive Insight:

This isn't the first time virtual reality has made its way into food industry marketing, with brands like Nestle's Nescafe, Beam Suntory's Jim Beam, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew, and Patron all developing content compatible with virtual reality headsets.

But Coca-Cola has taken virtual reality integration to another level by making the packaging a tool for using the technology itself rather than just visual content. This utility factor means the Coca-Cola VR headset may be used multiple times. Still, there's no guarantee consumers will watch the same VR visual content from a brand more than once. More uses of the headset means more times Coca-Cola (ever so subtly) reminds consumers of its brand.

Offering functionality via a marketing campaign is not often explored by food and beverage companies, but it's a strategy that can attract millennials and other consumers who no longer respond to traditional marketing messages.

If the industry thought mini cans and clear packaging were the latest beverage packaging trends, Coca-Cola may have just offered a glimpse into a more tech-savvy future.

Filed Under: Marketing Beverages