K-Wave, Hallyu, Inspires Coca-Cola’s Splash


On February 20th, Coca-Cola created quite a stir by introducing a limited edition zero-sugar version inspired by the K-wave. What makes it even more noteworthy? Well, it’s the first time in Coca-Cola’s 130-year history that they’ve used a language other than English for a global release.


But why did Coca-Cola choose to incorporate Korean into its limited-edition beverage design this time? Stay with me as we explore this interesting news.


Well, the rising popularity of Korean singers worldwide, commonly known as K-culture, is making waves across generations, rapidly elevating their global recognition. Inspired by the worldwide appeal of K-pop, Coca-Cola decided to launch a limited edition zero-sugar version with a K-wave “Hallyu” theme. This special edition, characterized by flavours like peach and other fruity notes, draws inspiration from the global influence of K-pop and the “passionate and dedicated” fandom. It is set to be sold in 36 countries, including Korea, Japan, Singapore, France, Spain, and the USA.


While the use of Korean in the design of globally renowned brands is not entirely new for Coca-Cola, it is a relatively recent trend that started gaining momentum in the late 2010s. Notably, luxury brands like Gucci and Balenciaga have also experimented with incorporating Korean letters into their designs, with Gucci releasing limited edition t-shirts featuring their logo in Korean in the past.


So, what’s driving this trend in recent years? Experts suggest that as Korean content gains global popularity, the positive image associated with the Korean language is prompting global brands to actively use it in their product promotions. Consumers have become familiar with Korean letters through popular cultural content, and the distinctiveness of the Korean script adds an exotic touch when used in design.


But how are Koreans reacting to this trend? Overall, there seems to be a sense of pride and enthusiasm for the change. Many express gratitude and admiration for King Sejong the Great, who created the Korean script for the common people. However, some offer constructive feedback, noting that while Coca-Cola’s efforts in incorporating the Korean logo are commendable, the font used by Gucci in the past seemed too outdated, resembling knockoff t-shirts one might find in flea markets. They also suggested paying more attention to design details for a more appealing result.


Now, what do you think about this trend? For those learning Korean or interested in Korean culture and content, how do you feel about global brands incorporating Hangul into their designs? Share your opinions!

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