Buying the World a Coke
Photos by Dana Hoff
Those of us of a certain age have fond memories of green Coca-Cola bottles being purchased in wooden crates. The nostalgia and the idea of kicking back with family and friends at a baseball game or backyard barbecue is not lost on the Coca-Cola of today, which set out to recreate those feelings in their new flagship location at Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla. The store (which opened in July 2016) not only spotlights the global brand, but also immerses the consumer in the experience of Coca-Cola from yesterday to today.
Coca-Cola’s flagship location in Walt Disney World Resort was refurbished beginning in 2015, becoming part of Disney Springs, a 1.1 million-sq.-ft. shopping, dining and entertainment experience. “This expansion presented the Coca-Cola store with the opportunity to create an amazing, immersive experience in a perfect location with water views,” explains Patrick Kells, global director of retail merchandising for Coca-Cola Retail and Attractions.
Those water views are visible from the new store’s rooftop bar, where Coca-Cola offers adult beverages for the first time, encouraging guests to pause and savor the moment with a refreshing sip.
Inspired by a Greenwood, Mo., bottling plant built in the 1920s, the building’s brick exterior has a re-creation of a mural from old bottling plants and is wrapped in a modern jewel box of glass that seeks to take guests on a journey of the last 100 years of the brand.
Designed by Coke Global Design, IDL Worldwide and Baker Barrios Architects, the store’s multi-sensory experience comes from design details that bring the brand to life. A glass-blown chandelier creates the visual sensation of Coke’s effervescent bubbles. In another area, the chill of the artic comes to life when guests visit the iconic Coca-Cola Polar Bear in his home, where frost needs to be wiped away to see content.
“Our retail mission is to create memorable experiences for our guests through our people, environments and merchandise worthy of the world’s most iconic brand,” Kells says. It inspires us to have a Coke and smile!