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June 5, 2013

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Coke bottles' buzzwords attract youth

A NEW Coca-Cola marketing campaign is reaching out to young Chinese with labels using Internet buzzwords that conjure such images as wealthy men, fair-skinned women and cats.

The buzzwords, which have caused a stir on the Web, include 高帅富 or gao fu shuai, referring to men who are tall, rich and handsome, and 白富美 or bai fu mei, describing women who are rich and beautiful with light skin. Both phrases are popular on Chinese websites and are prevalently used by young people.

The buzzwords are printed on Coke products where the four-character Chinese trademark of Coca-Cola was normally found. More than 20 nicknames are included in the first-released Coke bottles. Products with additional buzzwords will go to the market later.

The buzzwords include 吃货 or chi huo, meaning foodie; 粉丝 or fen si, meaning fans; 文艺青年 or wen yi qing nian, meaning artistic youth; and 表情帝, or biao qing di, meaning one with great facial expression skills.

Chen Yi, a student at Shanghai Normal University, said because she loves cats, she would buy a Coke with the buzzword 喵星人 or miao xing ren, meaning one who comes from the "meow planet," a popular Internet buzzword to describe a cat.

The company quietly shipped products with new labels last month, but not many have yet been seen since shops had to sell existing inventory first.

"We found it is very popular among young consumers to use nicknames to refer to their friends," said Bai Changbo, vice president of Coca-Cola Greater China.

"The new Coke 'nickname bottles' ... enable the consumers to relate nicknames on the bottles to their friends and loved ones and makes sharing a Coke actually fun."


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