Woody Packard

Words + Pictures

Coca-Cola


Mom and Pop Delguur, Songin Khairkhan District
For years, a huge neon Coca-Cola sign faced Sukhbaatar Square from the southwest corner, hanging from the tower of the Mongol Telecom building. Then, in early 2013, it was gone. A large banner-style billboard covers up the stain left on the side of the building, a perfect outline of that very recognizable bottle. I wondered at the time whether Mongolia had had its fill of this very American brand.

I needn't have worried. Of the most prominent exports to Mongolia from our New World, (cigarettes being the most visible—and troublesome) the one with the most recognizable brand name is still Coke. Its local distributor, MCS Beverages, is a single part of a single division of one of the largest corporations in Mongolia, which has other divisions in fields that range from health care to mining and product lines that range from beer to cable television and real estate.

Here is a small sample of images to illustrate the saturation that the Coca-Cola brand has had within Ulaanbaatar. Certainly credit is due to having an aggressive partner like MCS, but for product and advertising placement, Coke's success in such a small market like Mongolia is really quite amazing—the lessons learned about marketing at home have been put to use here. I have no statistics to share that would demonstrate that all of this has "paid off" for Coca-Cola, but the visual evidence is pretty convincing. Hardly a block is without a delguur or small shop that displays the Coca-Cola logo, along with the store's name (usually Grocery Store, like the one shown here) on the sign across its facade. At cafeterias on both of the college campuses where Judy teaches, the chairs and tables are ablaze with Coke-red and the familiar white script.

I have heard that there are no Starbucks or McDonalds franchises in Mongolia because the market here is just too small. Not so for Coca-Cola, whose signs can be found in the poorest neighborhoods and the smallest towns. Warren Buffet would be proud.

Close Story—Back to Pictures

Coca-Cola

Click below to page through enlarged images or read the story.

2120926-054
Coke, Telephone Company, 2012

2130518-005
No Coke, Telephone Company, 2013

2150209-009
Global Communication, 2015

2141112-065
Coke Can Underpass

2141119-030
Coke, Grocery Store

2141119-034
Coke, Grocery Store

2150208-026
Fortunate Happy Flavor

2150207-019
Walk-Up Coke

2141207-006
Coke and Kebab

2150207-022
Coke and Kebab

2150207-028
Coke Annex

2141114-075
Delivery

2141204-082
Can't You? Shopping Bag

2141217-034
Sweepstakes

2150209-082
Small Sweepstakes

2150108-052
Sponsored Furniture

2141201-040
Happy New Year Coke

2130711-227
Coke, at Naadam

2150209-089
The Challenger

2150208-005
Coke Delivery, Cold and Dry


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