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Coke Combines Pop Songs With Its Packaging To Create "Musicons" In China

That's musical emoticons for people to share on social media.

Last year, agency Isobar adapted an Australian idea for Coke in China by replacing the iconic brand's name on its bottles and cans with popular nicknames. This summer the brand and agency are taking things a step further by putting lyrics from popular songs on its labels and, with a quick scan of a QR code, people can share a short clip of the tune on social media.

It's a musical soundbite meant to share how you're feeling so the brand is calling it . . . wait for it . . . a musicon. Tim Doherty, chief creative officer of Isobar China says the brief was to find an idea that, like Nickname Coke last year, starts on the brand's packaging to drive interest and sales this summer.

"The campaign is called 'Share a Coke,' not 'Hoard Cokes,'" says Doherty. "So we tried to think of things people might actually want to share, and music quickly came up. But what about music? Artists? Songs? Genres? We settled on lyrics—the juicy, beating, instantly recognizable, quickly digestible heart of a song. Lyrics are immediately recognizable and show a knowledge of, and appreciation for, youth culture in the same way that using playful Internet nicknames in China did last year with Nickname Coke."

The clips are shareable across WeChat, a popular messaging app with a built-in QR code reader. "Now instead of a winky face, or a smile with X's for eyes, consumers in China can use a quick pop-music clip with its associated animation to quickly telegraph how they are feeling when chatting online," says Doherty.

The name "musicon" may or may not catch on, but it's an idea that would be interesting to see adapted elsewhere. Because sometimes a song can convey a feeling—like, oh say, hunger—better than any tiny round yellow head.