Coca Cola has signed up St Luke’s to help develop a new global
brand which could sit alongside Coke in the company’s portfolio.
St Luke’s is understood to have been asked to present the soft-drinks
giant with a strategy based on its assessment of the ’global cultural
The agency’s work, if approved, may form the starting point for the
development of a brand with a cultural reach as wide as Coca-Cola.
A senior executive from the company’s strategic development division in
the US is understood to have approached the agency about the
It is not thought to affect existing UK agency relationships.
St Luke’s has recently launched a ’cultural mission’ division within the
agency, headed by planning director Paul Teer. Several St Luke’s clients
are already handled by the division, including Fox’s Biscuits and
The project for Coca-Cola is expected to be handled by the ’cultural
Teer confirmed that the agency has siphoned off several clients to work
in a separate company division but declined to comment on details of
their work for Coca-Cola.
’The cultural message of the product has more resonance than
psychological values,’ he said.
The decision by Cola-Cola executives to approach new product development
in this way signals a dramatic evolution of traditional brand
development strategy. In the past, manufacturers tended to develop the
product first and then create a suitable marketing strategy.
Coca-Cola has a turbulent new product development record. The success of
launches such as Diet Coke in 1983 contrasts with disasters such as the
launch of New Coke in 1985 and Fruitopia in the UK in 1994.