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.[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/l_4ia2LoN3Y&hl=en_US&fs=1&”]
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.[youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/v/BeU4Vg0Oaps&hl=en_US&fs=1&”]
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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