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What's In The Box

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Coca-Cola teamed up with SCAD's Collaborative Learning Center (CLC), challenging our class to come up with a cross-promotional marketing campaign for a 10 week period. 

THE ASK: Design a simple yet innovative cross-promotional marketing experience that drives brand participation amongst millennials for Coca-Cola and McDonalds through social and emotional connections that have immediate and sustainable value. 

THE TEAM: The class consisted of 16 students from various majors including advertising, industrial, service, graphic, interaction, service and motion media design. We were split into groups of four. I was fortunate to work with two industrial design students, Abeer Mehra and Daniella Calle Donado, along with advertising student Matthew Zimmerman. My role on this team was project manager and graphic designer. 

THE SOLUTION: Ten, massive red boxes would be placed in major cities throughout the world, with only #WhatsInTheBox printed on the outside. People would start generating the buzz for the campaign by using the hashtag on social media. Two days after the boxes are placed outside, the in-store promotion and advertising begins. 

When customers purchase an Extra Value Meal (EVM) they will receive a point of sale item which acts as a hint for what could be in the big red boxes. The item comes with a code that allows them to enter their 'guess' on the app or microsite. By 'guessing' they enter themselves for a chance to attend the box unveiling with three friends. 

The solution is sustainable because it allows Coca-Cola and McDonalds to change what is in the box from year to year along with the point of sale item while still keeping the mystery and hype around the big unveiling. 


Men and women between 23-25 years old from a variety of backgrounds and incomes. We developed three users personas to fit this profile.



AGE: 23 years
LOCATION: Thessaloniki, Greece
EDUCATION: Industrial Design student at SCAD
INCOME: none

EXERCISE: Cricket & Soccer
McDonalds, Chipolte, Subway, Applebees

“While I enjoy being a student, I cannot wait to graduate and start a career in industrial design.”


Dominique williams

AGE: 24 years
LOCATION: Tampa, Florida, USA
EDUCATION: High School Diploma
INCOME: $8.50/hr
OCCUPATION: Baker at Kroger
one child

FREQUENTED RESTURANTS: McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Chili's

“My daughter, Sheyna, is the most important thing in my life. Everything I do is for her.”




AGE: 25 years
LOCATION: Bombay, India
EDUCATION: Bachelor Engineering, Mangalore Institute of Technology
OCCUPATION: Software Engineer
INCOME: $50,000/year

EXERCISE: Cricket and Soccer
FREQUENTED RESTURANTS: Chipolte, McDonald's, Applebees

“I am very passionate about my job, I love making things and am perfectly content sitting around coding all day.”



We had to come up with over 40 unique ideas to present to our clients by midterms. This ideation process included many research sessions to see what Coca-Cola and McDonalds had done in the past and what their competitors were doing. Additionally it involved many brainstorming sessions, where we would bounce and build ideas off of one another.

At midterms, between the four teams over 160 ideas were presented, four were chosen by the Coca-Cola staff, two of which came from our group. 



We made a journey map to chronicle the promotion's timeline from start to finish.


Though we did not have an actual promotion unveiling we did have a proposed experience for the first year's promotion. We envisioned a glow in the dark concert with light-up dancers and acrobatics with performances by Macklemore and Katy Perry.


[Left to Right]: Abeer Mehra, Tayler Aitken, Matthew Zimmerman, and Daniella Calle Donado

[Left to Right]: Abeer Mehra, Tayler Aitken, Matthew Zimmerman, and Daniella Calle Donado