Material Monday Industry Special: Coca Cola Sensorium

Material Monday Industry Special: Coca Cola Sensorium

Posted Last Wednesday by Katie Kubrak

London is a backdrop to some of the most fascinating exhibitions and events. This Material Monday we review Coca Cola Sensorium experience that is on until 5th November.

The affair begun with signing a disclaimer, through which, each participant needed to consent to a standard agreement with Coca Cola UK as the organiser.

Standing in the queue amongst hassle and bustle of Westfield Stratford, a line of enthusiasts was awaiting a multi-sensory thrill. Yet anything and everything that was surrounding the wait left its audience bored and unstimulated.

Entire experience was kept inside a custom build room. Its external walls were covered with a printed polyester textile, commonly used for banners. A narrow strip of self-adhesive PVC was indicating the direction to the entrance. It was embellished with graphics, which portrayed an icon for every sense.

Entrance to the space was marked by a sleek and glossy door that draw visual references to the Coca Cola fridge. It felt lightweight and easy to open and stood out by its glossy printed laminate finish.

First room felt vestibule-like and gathered an entire group of 10 that was about to experience each of the spaces together. Entire lot was greeted by a member of staff who guided steps of branded experience, which consisted of three rooms.

Room 1 explored the sense of touch. A group was invited to feed their hands through one of five holes in the wall and encouraged to name the hidden object. Each cavity hosted a different design of injection molded glass. This surprising display of a range of iconic Coca Cola bottles captured attention, yet it was not explored enough. Brands’ tactile design (about which we wrote here) was narrated too briefly despite the fact that it was one of the key components that made the brand into a global player it is today.

Entering Room 2 the group instantaneously experienced the aroma of the drink and was invited to sniff each of the distinctive notes that make it up – citrus, nutmeg and cinnamon. This space offered engagement but did not allow the group enough time to properly immerse themselves with scents, which have a significant influence on the taste (i.e. according to scientific research smell is about 80% of taste) and are a memory map.

On the way to the last room, a group walked through a narrow corridor. There, each person was handed a ‘silent disco’ style of headphones. Room 3 merged the sense of taste, sound and sight making it the most stimulating out of all rooms. Taste was nurtured by a fizzy drink, audio started with the sound of bubbles and were followed by literary narration of Coca Cola’s flavour.  Aesthetic of the interior was in tune with the sight excite trend of infinity mirrors (about which we wrote here). Entire space was laid with reflective surfaces, which substantially added more depth to the crowded space. Lastly, one of the walls turned into a large screen that played a Coca Cola Zero commercial.

Overall, we were excited to witness this multi-sensory exposition, but we feel its complexity could have been given more time for its audience to digest. Lastly, with love and understanding of the brand, we yarned for the deeply rooted meaning of tactile, gustatory, visual, audible and aromatic elements to be given more narration. We can’t wait for more of initiatives like this to come! And there is plenty more coming, this is just the beginning!

Below: Room 1

Below: Room 2

Below: Room 3

Coca Cola Sensorium is ‪on 30th October – 5th November 2018, Westfield, Stratford, London, UK