Lucky music fans in Romania are hitting some of the summer’s biggest concerts thanks to the latest packaging innovation from Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola Romania and McCann Bucharest developed detachable Coca-Cola labels that double as music festival wristbands for some of the country's hottest music events, including Transylvania's Untold. Fans scan a promotional barcode on the label with a smartphone app to see if their bottle is a valid ticket.

Romania Festival Wristband

The eight colorful designs are a hot commodity with Romanian teens who collect festival wristbands as fasionable reminders of memorable summer moments. Tapping into this trend, Coca-Cola Romania -- led by Iuliana Nedelcu, senior brand manager, My Coke Romania and Moldova, and Daria Gonta, brand manager, Coca-Cola flavors, came up with the idea to use Coca-Cola bottles into tickets to summer experiences.

Coke’s Packaging R&D team had been kicking around the concept of a label wristband for a few years, but the project gained momentum when Marco Beggiora, packaging manager for Coca-Cola Central and Eastern Europe, requested support for festival promotions in Romania.

Romania Festival Wristband

“Initially, the idea was for a fabric wristband incorporated into the label, but this proved too time consuming, expensive and complex to create. That is how we started developing the wristband made from our label and hot-melt glue,” explains Gregory Bentley, packaging engineer at Coke's R&D Lab in Brussels. “This solution seems obvious now, but you have to understand nothing like this has been done before, and we needed to investigate many alternatives before deciding on the most viable.”

Working closely with the engineering and operations teams at the local bottler, CCHBC Romania, and label supplier, Rodata, the team led quickly agreed on a printing method and conversion techniques, drawing learnings from Coke's award-winning Bow Label project.

CCHBC Romania launched an initial trial within weeks, then made small modifications to the design and the project took off.  

“When I tried on the first sample for a quality check, the wristband stayed on for over three weeks in which time I ran the equivalent of nearly two marathons and travelled to Japan for a business trip,” Bentley says.

The wristband labels have reached 75 percent of teens in Romania, and the promotion has caught the attention of international marketing media outlets including AdWeek, Mashable and Trend Hunter. Coca-Cola Romania is developing a toolkit to scale the concept to other country teams.