The Coca-Cola Company to Receive ‘Brand Icon’ Award

NEW YORK — The CLIO Awards, among the world’s most recognized international advertising, design and communications competitions, today announced The Coca-Cola Company as this year’s inaugural Brand Icon Award recipient, recognized for continuous and exceptional creative execution over the years. Pio Schunker , Head of Integrated Marketing Communications, will accept the award for Coca-Cola North America Group at the 54th annual CLIO Awards ceremony, taking place on May 15th at the Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The Brand Icon Award, a new annual honor from the CLIO Awards, distinguishes one brand that has transcended the product or service it provides to become a permanent fixture in popular culture. Each recipient is chosen for elevating its brand to icon status among its peers, industry experts and consumers.

“As one of the most beloved, enduring and valuable brands in history, Coca-Cola continues to set the gold standard for out-of-the-box creative thinking. No one is more deserving of this honor,” said Nicole Purcell , executive director, CLIO Awards. “From helping shape the modern image of Santa Claus to teaching the world the words to ‘I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke,’ Coca-Cola’s advertising continues to keep its brand extraordinarily fresh while reminding every generation of the joy of the simple things in life.”

The May award coincidentally falls near Coca-Cola’s 127th anniversary, when pharmacist and chemist John Pembertonintroduced his first Coca-Cola drink at the soda fountain in Atlanta’s Jacobs’ Pharmacy. Considered the quintessential American brand, Coca-Cola has always been a trailblazer, from supporting the Olympics since the 1928 games in Amsterdam to being the first to offer free coupons for its signature beverage in 1988. Now, with over 60 million Facebook fans, the Company is paving the way in digital too.

The Coca-Cola Company was among the first global companies to create a department (120 strong) to focus solely on creativity in all of its forms, and as a result boasts a heritage including some of the most enduring brand icons, such as the contour bottle, introduced in 1915, and the famous red suited Coca-Cola Santa Claus, created in 1931. Coca-Cola’s polar bear and the Happiness Factory are two other recent icons joining the legacy.

“We are extremely humbled that Coca-Cola is the first-ever recipient of the Brand Icon Award. We always have believed that creativity lies at the very core of our business and helps drive it forward —something that we share closely with CLIO,” said Schunker, SVP, Integrated Marketing Communications, Coca-Cola North America Group. “We constantly seek new and innovative ways to harness the power of creativity, imagination and passion to drive our business forward and connect with the people who love our brands.”

Coca-Cola relies on this creativity and the Company’s personal, simple style to keep its brand not only relevant, but iconic. While some strive to continuously update their image, Coca-Cola again has separated itself by staying true to its roots and positioning itself as one of life’s simple pleasures through its “Open Happiness” campaign.

“What truly connects us with our fans and is three simple words – ‘Coke Brings Joy’, and this brand ethos is reflected in everything we do”, Schunker continued.  “When we talk about Coca-Cola, everything is filtered through the brand’s core values of happiness, refreshment, optimism, fun, simply moments of pleasure, authenticity, coming together and uplift.  Our message and our values are relevant to people who have loved Coke for years and new fans who may enjoy their very first Coke today.”

The CLIO Awards Mission

Our mission is to honor the groundbreaking work and talent that push the boundaries of creativity.

Everything we do is fueled by our passion for celebrating the power of creativity, provoking action and nurturing your vision. As the standard bearer for visionary communications, we award those creators whose work exemplifies inventive thinking. Celebrating Inspiration. Honoring Imagination. Fostering Creativity. This is the very essence of the CLIO Awards.

About The CLIO Awards
The CLIO Awards is one of the world’s most recognized awards competitions for advertising, design and communications. The CLIO Awards has maintained its original commitment to celebrate and reward creative excellence, honoring a powerful form of communication and its impact on modern culture. At the same time, the CLIO Awards remains focused on evolving with the industry in order to acknowledge the most current, breakthrough work. To this day, CLIO’s iconic statue is the most widely recognized and coveted symbol of the industry’s creative accomplishments.

About Guggenheim Digital Media
Guggenheim Digital Media engages people and marketers at the intersection of culture’s most powerful forces—music, media and entertainment. This connectivity makes GDM a potent catalyst in influencing popular culture. Its leading assets include: music (Billboard and its related conferences and events, including the Billboard Music Awards), entertainment (The Hollywood Reporter, Backstage, ShowEast, CineAsia, and CineEurope); and advertising & marketing (Adweek, Adweek Conferences and the CLIO Awards).