Coca Cola Celebrates Rainbow Nation

Coca Cola celebrated the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic election this year with an out of home celebration of the Rainbow Nation. In April 1994, Archbishop Desmond Tutu coined the phrase ‘Rainbow Nation’ to describe the new nation of South Africa. During the month of April 2014, in celebration of ‘Freedom Month’, Coca-Cola literally created rainbows in the Johannesburg to mark the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy and the birth of the “Rainbow Nation”. Recycled water was pumped into the sky to create a rainbows over the city, particularly above Coca Cola’s multi-storey rainbow-coloured billboard in the CBD. The message: “Happy 20 years to our rainbow nation.”

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation

“In the lead up to Freedom Day we wanted to go further than reminding South Africans of our heritage, we wanted to create a symbol of our diversity and celebrate the fact that as a nation we have come so far,” said Sharon Keith of Coca-Cola South Africa.

In keeping with the celebration theme, Coke added something more to the stunt. Noting people’s desire to see what’s at the end of the rainbow, the company set up sprinklers near the bottom of the rainbows where people could gather and run through the streaming water. These rainbow oases turned into mini party zones, with people dancing and laughing and jumping while they splashed around.

The hashtag Coke used for the stunt, #RainbowNation, resulted in several shared pictures of the rainbows on Twitter.

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation Cans

Coca Cola Rainbow Nation


The Rainbow Nation campaign was developed at FCB South Africa, Johannesburg, by executive creative director Jonathan Deeb, creative directors Grant Sithole, Collette Wasielewski, designers Tshepo Mosoeu, Liana Liebenberg, Susan Aukema, producers Vanessa Borthwick and Ginny Daly, group account director Reagan Kok.

Photographer was by Daryl Burley and Barend Stofberg at Burley Boys. Sound was produced by Fine Tune. Music was by ProVerb Music. Rainbows were produced by Fred Stern. Special effects were by Gerhard van der Heever.

The latest from FCB Johannesburg is a colourful brand activation for Coca-Cola that celebrates 20 years of democracy in the “Rainbow Nation.” The term “Rainbow Nation” was coined by Desmond Tutu as a representation of the multiple races and cultures of people that were coming together at the end of Apartheid to make one nation. Twenty years on, FCB and Coca-Cola got together with Fred Stern from the USA, known as The Rainbow Maker, to create rainbows in the sky around Johannesburg CBD by capturing the sun at specific angles through a mist of water. The act celebrates the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy, which falls on Freedom Day, the 27th of April this year. In this video South Africans of all colours of the rainbow can be seen coming together to enjoy the spectacle.

  • Shawn Rubel

    I’ve never been fan of Coca-Cola, don’t really fancy toxic drinks — but, great campaign, they sure do know how to use their dollars for marketing.

  • Fred Stern

    Thanks for the note. If you want to meet the man who created the rainbows go to

    Sincerely, Fred Stern
    the Rainbow Maker

  • Misa Khan

    Great campaign. I wish i be there.