On our third day in Shanghai, we headed to the Shanghai Expo, the highlight of this trip. The date was 8 May which was also Coca-Cola’s Founder Day or the global brand’s 124th birthday.
To celebrate, the Coca-Cola Pavilion was to be launched on the same day and we were there early in the morning to witness the launch.
The pavilion was themed around the “Happiness Factory” concept that ran across Coca-Cola’s recent ad campaign. Stepping into the pavilion was like stepping in a mini version of Willy Wonka‘s magical Chocolate Factory. There are no oompa-loompa here, but Coca-Cola has its own stable of quirky characters.
Upon entering, visitors are greeted by loud, smiley employees who will usher you along the tour of the pavilion. After a short introductory video on the main characters in the Coca-Cola Happiness Factory, visitors are guided to a cosy cinema to watch a slick animation.
After the cinema experience, visitors are presented with a free bottle of Coca-Cola in their environmental conscious PlantBottle, made from 30% plant-based material and is 100% recyclable. We were also showed a certain way to upturn, twist and then uncap the bottle before consumption so that a layer of ice will run at the top, due to a special freezing technique.
Outside the pavilion, there were magicians and other entertainers going around to keep the guests in queues occupied while waiting. There was also a gift shop selling limited edition Coca-Cola Shanghai Expo souvenirs. I bought a set of Expo-themed bottles for keepsake.[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/LDVzGwH2NSE&hl=en_US&fs=1&”]
Later on, we were entertained by some song and dance items featuring kids from around the world singing Happy Birthday to Coca-Cola on the pavilion stage.
We lingered around till the end of the birthday celebration and then spent a little time exploring the Puxi area where the Coca-Cola pavilion is located. The Puxi area houses all the enterprise pavilions and these are generally deemed as less exciting by most visitors. The area tends to be a little quiet. I find it a pity as some of the enterprise pavilions like the Coca-Cola one for instance, is better than the average country pavilions.
If you visit the Expo. Don’t skip the Puxi area. It’s great for time-starved visitors as there are generally no queues there.
After brisking through Puxi, I took a ferry across the Huangpu River together with fellow Singaporeans, Walter and June and Japanese blogger, Rikki-san. We were headed for the Pudong area where the key attractions – the country pavilions are.
Stay tuned to my next blog entry which will be a really lengthy one covering the Expo’s country pavilions and Coca-Cola’s Founder Day Parade. 🙂
My previous posts on Shanghai with Coca-Cola:
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