Coca-Cola Opens Giant Olympic Exhibits for Beijing Guests

Complementing its spate of Olympic-tied ads, this weekend Coca-Cola opened its temporary home in Beijing, a giant lounge filled with exhibits on the games, the environment, and its own advertising.

By Michael O'Connell August 11, 2008, 5:54 PM EDT

The Shuang Experience Center's reception area sits under a blanket of gauzy fabric, springing from one of the many oversized Coke bottles.

Photo: Eric Powell for BizBash

With an estimated bid of $70 to $75 million to be a four-year Olympic partner (plus an undisclosed marketing budget), Coca-Cola is all over Beijing’s 2008 Summer Games. Hoping to make the most of the big push, Coke opened its Olympic headquarters, “The Shuang Experience,” to the public Saturday morning. 

The experience marks the culmination of the company’s two-year effort in the Chinese market using the Mandarin term “Shuang.” Said to mean “complete physical, emotional and spiritual refreshment,” the expression has worked its way into Chinese vernacular to describe something both literally and figuratively cool.

A heavily branded lounge the company hopes Olympic visitors will use as an escape from the stifling heat and crowded athletic venues, the Shuang Experience is a whopping 40,000 square feet. Filled with exhibitions on the company’s advertising relationship with China and the Olympics, this year’s Olympic Torch Relay, and Coca-Cola’s ongoing environmental efforts, the space’s largest display is of giant, thematically decorated Coke bottles.  Chinese folk artists who successfully entered the design competition painted the 34 pieces, all giant replicas of the brand’s trademark contour bottle. Each bottle aims to illustrate a unique aspect of Chinese culture.

In addition to the art project, the center plans to play host to the premiere of the film Environmental Champions, about the environmental efforts of the seven Olympic Torchbearers chosen by Coca-Cola. The Shuang Experience also airs live telecasts of Olympic events throughout the day. The center is open daily 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m until August 24.

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