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Characters of Kings Cross


To enhance the reputation of Coca-Cola and promote its partnership with Vivid Sydney, our Australian agency Herd MSL developed this campaign to ‘shine a light’ on Kings Cross and the people that make the area special, which turned negative conversation to positive.

Region APAC
Practices Social Purpose and Sustainability


In May 2017, Coca-Cola partnered with Vivid Sydney (Sydney’s annual celebration of light, music, and ides) to bring the festival to Kings Cross for the first time. The partnership presented Coca-Cola with a unique opportunity to leverage the new billboard in a way that would enhance its reputation in Australia. The challenge was to do this at a time when most of the conversation about the area was negative and focused on controversial ‘lock-out laws’ designed to ‘clean-up’ the area.  


We developed a campaign to ‘shine a light’ on Kings Cross and the people that make the area so special. We called the campaign ‘Characters of the Cross’. At the heart of the campaign was a single idea - to hand over the Southern hemisphere's largest and most iconic billboard to the Kings Cross community. Specifically, we turned the billboard into a giant canvas to display emotive black-and-white images of people from and connected to the Cross so we could celebrate the talent, color, and diversity of the area. To capture the images we partnered with portrait photographer Katherine Williams. To engage Australians we shared content and news of the activation and stories of the people featured on the billboard far and wide.


  • 76m opportunities-to-see generated via national TV and online stories
  • 4.2m Australians reached (on average) via each piece of social content
  • 95% of online conversation about the initiative positive or neutral in tone
  • In in 10 Australians aware of the Vivid partnership
  • Two fifths of Australians felt positive about the partnership 


Gold SABRE Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility practice - Characters of Kings Cross—Coca-Cola with N2N Communications

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