Why Coca-Cola Released 32 Versions of the Same Song for the World Cup

Brazilian street band Monobloco and Japanese singer-songwriter Naoto Inti Raymi perform during the Coca Cola Cup Trophy event in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, on April 11 Photograph by Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO

Coca-Cola knows a good song when it hears it. In 1971, the soft drink company introduced its I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke jingle, which, when later rerecorded as I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony), became a No. 1 hit in the U.K. and a Top 10 single in the U.S. (It’s probably still stuck in your head today.) In 2010, as part of its $300 million ad campaign for the South African World Cup, Coca-Cola released two dozen versions of K’Naan’s Wavin’ Flag—making sure to take out all the references to K’Naan’s impoverished childhood in war-torn Somalia that appeared in the original song, of course. “Wavin’ Flag” became a No. 1 iTunes hit in 17 different countries. This year the company is at it again. For the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Coca-Cola has released 32 versions of a new song called The World Is Ours, tailored to different countries.

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