Coca-Cola's Iconic White Ribbon Now Shows You Where to Recycle

Publicis Italy makes bins easier to find

Coca-Cola has made sustainability and recycling a big part of its corporate strategy. Now, a creative campaign in Europe nicely uses Coke's iconic visual branding to help consumers recycle, too. 

Billboards from Publicis Italy, rolling out in several cities in Central and Eastern Europe, turn the beverage brand's famous white ribbon—introduced to the Coke branding scheme in 1969—into an arm whose hand points to nearby recycling bins. 

"Open, taste, recycle with us," says copy on the boards. Some executions add: "91% percent of plastic isn't recycled. We will make our packaging 100% recyclable by 2025." The placements were chosen based on whether the board could point to existing recycling bins—or new ones Coke could install. 

See examples of the work here: 

Other executions in the campaign are also hitting the Happy Energy Tour, a music event in Bulgaria that Coke sponsors. 

Citing consumer research, Coke says source-separated recycling goes up by 141 percent when you make the bins easier to find. This campaign is already making a difference, the brand adds. 

Coca-Cola has done lots of creative things with the white ribbon. In 2015, it was turned into two hands fist-bumping in a Latin American campaign. In 2012, a campaign called "Coke Hands" artfully turned the ribbon into a pair of hands cradling a bottle. (That campaign, which won three Gold Clios, was credited to Ogilvy Shanghai, though it was initially designed by a student named Jonathan Mak.) 

Ironically, the Publicis work comes at a time Coke has been moving away from the ribbon as a branding device, including stripping it from the product packaging entirely. 


Agency: Publicis Italy s.r.l.
Global CCO Publicis Communication Worldwide: Bruno Bertelli
CCO Publicis Italy: Cristiana Boccassini
Executive Creative Directors: Davide Boscacci, Jorg Riommi
Art Director: Andrea Raia
Copywriter: Matteo Gatto
Illustrator: Davide Barco
Global Client Service Director: Lorenza Montorfano
Account Director: Marcia Carneiro
CEE Portfolio and Growth director: Romain Maillard
CEE IMC director: Dmitry Muzychenko
CEE Content Excellence Director: Monica Alvarez
CEE Content Excellence Manager: Desirèe Ferrari

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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