Joint Forces to Preserve Cultural Heritage


In the Secret Formula of Communication, the traditional supplement in Diplomacy & Commerce magazine, Olivera Perković, Managing Director of McCann Beograd, and Tanja Petrović, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola, talk about the innovative global campaign adapted to the local market.

When a world-famous brand decides to thank local consumers in a special way for their confidence and show how much it appreciates their tradition, the result is an unusual campaign. The Coca-Cola logo found its place on the Zlatibor pasture, on hand knitted billboards, while it also settled comfortably with the Pirot pattern on billboards woven on a loom. Innovative billboards are the announcement of the Coca-Cola gastronomic series "Unforgettable Tastes of Serbia" which will remind us of almost forgotten domestic recipes. Tanja Petrović, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola and Olivera Perkovic, Director of McCann Belgrade, will tell us how this idea emerged.

THE SECRET: Thanks to Coca-Cola, foreign public may have seen a part of our cultural heritage for the first time, heard about Serbian cuisine, noticed the wonderful handwork of our women and promoted a different image of Serbia. Someone could be intrigued to find out something else or perhaps visit Serbia.

Coca-Cola Campaigns are among the most recognizable in the world. How did you opt for handmade billboards? What were the reactions?

Petrović: We love to play, test, innovate at Coca-Cola. The campaign is the result of a joint effort with McCann Belgrade agency. We looked at things from a different angle and the idea itself came up, so we were brave to embark on this adventure. We tried to avoid viewing the world around us in the usual way, and we tried to examine what could be different. And so, with the help of five hard-working textile artists, after 60 days of hard work, the first two billboards were formed - knitted and woven. Perhaps this billboard will not be the largest knitted object in the history of the world, but it will be unique for its own purpose - as an innovative application of media communication channels. The reactions are positive, not only by domestic, but also by the foreign public. This initiative communicates with the local audience and reveals some of the less known parts of Serbia and their cultural heritage, old delicious recipes used by our great-grandmothers, wonderful crafts that may have been unjustly neglected, local music.

How did McCann Belgrade come to the idea of joining one of the largest global brands and local craftsmen? What did this campaign look like?

Perkovic: The brand's distinctiveness is huge, and the proximity with one brand is being built in local environment and culture, a personalized approach creates a deeper connection. Coca-Cola, as a global brand, has the power to launch and make a change, contribute to the community and this is a great inspiration. This campaign is an example of this kind of action and approach. "Coke and Meals" is an ideal platform for combining different food choices and authentic Coca-Cola taste. It is similar to the Serbian cuisine - the variation of taste and smell, and a unique sense of satisfaction. Billboards are the announcement of the campaign, followed by a lot of more. An adaptation of "Taste the Feeling" song is done in ethno-manner, so we celebrate all the senses. Coca-Cola is an indispensable part of our meals and is most often synonymous with the so-called modern meals.

How did you come up with the idea of combining this drink with traditional meals in the Coke & Meal campaign?

Petrović: Coca-Cola is a universal drink, which goes with a variety of dishes, with people from all backgrounds. It is drunk both in courts and favelas, by artists and builders, both young and old, on the Earth and space stations, by women and men. There are neither boundaries nor a time frame for Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola goes well with what we call modern cuisine, along with traditional dishes. That is why we wanted to show that it can be consumed with, for example, samsa, and with pizza. We are proud of our traditional dishes and we wanted to get them out of oblivion.

What is McCann's experience in Belgrade, does the global exclude the local?

Perković: For years, it has been told that globalization sends local culture and customs into oblivion. Here we have the opposite example, the global brand recognizes local specificities and helps the community; thus retaining and living its universal values while recognizing and celebrating local specificities.

Can a strong brand, such as Coca-Cola, help revitalize old crafts, in this case, revitalize traditional dishes?

Petrović: It's the role of big brands. They are here to launch important social themes, help the local community and make a better place for the lives of future generations. We live in a time of exponential changes and sometimes we forget the roots, so it is good that we have the support. The Coca-Cola system celebrates 50 years of business in Serbia next year, and this campaign is just an introduction, there will be many more interesting stories that we want to share together.

McCann Belgrade is known for the inventive use of the media. How much are your clients open for unusual campaigns?

Perkovic: Billboards, although based on old crafts, are in fact in line with the current trend of preserving local uniqueness and culture. Though it seems conventional, this is a very innovative campaign. When you mention openness of clients, it is important that we have a common goal, and then everything is possible. From the first moment, we had the same attitude, desire, energy and commitment of both parties to realize the idea.


The original article is published at: (page 24)

I&F McCann Grupa jedan je od vodećih komunikacionih sistema koji 20 godina uspešno posluje u 12 zemlja jugo istočne Evrope i nordijske regije. Naš posvećen tim čini 600 talentovanih profesionalaca, koji svakodnevno sarađuju na integraciji marketinških kampanja, promotivnih aktivnosti, organizaciji događaja, dizajnu, planiranju i zakupu medijskog prostora, PR, produkciji, komunikaciji u oblasti zdravstva, kreiranju TV sadržaja,kao i na svim formama digitalnog marketinga. Agencije koje posluju u okviru I&F McCann Grupe deo su McCann Worldgroup (,jedne od najvećih svetskih agencijskih mreža,osnovane 1902.godine koja posluje u više od 120 zemalja sveta, i u vlasništvu je Interpublic Group (IPG) ( sa sedištem u Njujorku.