If you’ve even got just just half an eye on Euro 2020 (when it’s 2021), you may have spotted the news about the Portuguese superstar and icon, Cristiano Ronaldo. At a press conference, with two Coca Cola bottles in front of him, Ronaldo moved them and said “Drink water” in Portuguese. Little did we know that such a simple act would have a devastating financial impact on share prices – Coca Cola lost $4 billion in valuation following that gesture by Ronaldo.

They can handle that obviously with a long heritage and secure financial background.

But it does go to show how one action can have a domino effect on a global business.

Closer to home, with van signs and lorry liveries, perhaps there’s lessons we can take from CR7’s act?

One thing we would say is that Coca Cola perhaps knew that a 36 year old athlete still playing at the top of his game wouldn’t drink their product? They are Euro 2020 sponsors, but placing two bottles on a table was not their finest hour.

Yet Coca Cola get so many things right.

Their branding is instantly recognisable, like McDonald’s et al, across the world and it’s hardly changed from their launch in the 19th century. They allegedly sold just 25 bottles of the stuff in their first year and are often used in motivational memes for never giving up. Though this is widely claimed to be false.

What isn’t false is their rapid growth with the brand valued at $84 billion (pre-Ronaldo) and more pertinently to us as leading Manchester Van Signs installers is their lorry tour.

The Coca Cola lorry has become a British tradition, heralded as much as the John Lewis Christmas advert (which they’ve scaled down in recent years) and the £2 chocolate advent calendars for families, children and teens.

Their lorries tour UK towns and cities, handing out free drinks and heralding Christmas – though in 2020, it was cancelled because of Covid-19. It all started in 1995 as a marketing campaign and is still drawing crowds 25 years later.


Everyone loves a freebie, everyone loves Christmas it seems (we know some don’t) and many like a can of Coke. Health campaign groups have been less than impressed with the tour though as they say Coca Cola is a leading factor in obesity and poor oral health.

In response, a Coca-Cola spokesperson said at the time: “The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour is a one-off moment of fun in the run up to Christmas. As part of the experience we offer people the chance to enjoy a small can of Coca-Cola.

“We lead all our sampling with Coca-Cola zero sugar and expect more than 90 per cent of the samples we give away during the tour to be sugar-free. In line with our responsible marketing policy, we have a policy of not providing drinks to children under the age of 12, unless their parent or guardian is present and requests one.”

What we do know is that Coca Cola’s marketing has led it to be a world leading brand, its lorries draw crowds – just don’t expect to bump into Ronaldo if you manage to see the lorry in St Ann’s Square, Manchester, this December!

If you’d like more information on how we can help you stand out on roads around the north west with vehicle graphics, call or email us today.