Square Enix's Final Fantasy brand joined forces with Coca-Cola in numerous joined marketing campaigns in between the years 1999–2001 in Japan. The first such campaign started with collectible Final Fantasy figurines given away attached to Coke bottles.
List of marketing campaigns
The first campaign started after Square and Coca-Cola joined forces in a marketing campaign to bring Final Fantasy figurines attached to Coca-Cola products sold in shops. The first edition was released in the year 2000 on April 17th and contained characters from Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, but once the last five playable characters in Final Fantasy IX were announced, Coca-Cola released Volume 2, which contained the characters from all three games. Later, Volume 3 was released with characters from Final Fantasy X.
Each 500mL bottle of Coca-Cola included one of the 1.5" plastic figurines with stands. Underneath every figurine there is a Coca-Cola logo as well as the character's name and its variant. The variants were "deformed" (big head, disproportionate body), "real" (more realistically proportioned) and "crystal" (solid red figurines).
Volume 1 contains 24 "deformed" style figurines, of which 12 are from Final Fantasy VII, and 12 from Final Fantasy VIII. Two versions of each figurine exist, a colored one, and a solid red "crystal" version.
Characters in Volume 1 are:
Volume 2 introduced the Final Fantasy IX characters to the collection, and featured realistically proportioned characters as opposed to the deformed ones in Vol 1. The Vol 2 series consists of 48 figurines, of which 16 are from Final Fantasy VII, 16 from Final Fantasy VIII and 16 from Final Fantasy IX. Each character has two versions, full-color and red crystal. The figurines of Vol 2 are considered more popular, rare and expensive among collectors than the Vol 1 figurines.
Characters in Volume 2 are:
- Cloud Strife
- Aerith Gainsborough
- Tifa Lockhart
- Barret Wallace
- Yuffie Kisaragi
- Vincent Valentine
- Red XIII
- Squall Leonhart
- Rinoa Heartilly
- Seifer Almasy
- Laguna Loire
- Quistis Trepe
- Zell Dincht
- Selphie Tilmitt
- Irvine Kinneas
- Zidane Tribal
- Garnet Til Alexandros XVII
- Vivi Ornitier
- Adelbert Steiner
- Quina Quen
- Freya Crescent
- Amarant Coral
- Eiko Carol
Though there are fewer characters featured than in previous volumes, each character has four different versions of their figurine: colored normal (proportional) and deformed versions, and crystal versions of both, adding up to 32 unique pieces. The deformed versions of the characters are holding some sort of Coca-Cola memorabilia on them.
Characters in Volume 3 are:
Draw prize items
During the campaign at 2000 a contest was held where customers sending in seals taken from Coca-Cola bottles could enter a draw for a set of prizes.
The Final Fantasy Coca Cola Special Box was a Christmas-time promotional set limited to 10,000 pieces only acquired by winning in the special lottery. The set consists of a display case for the figurines, 36 figurines with yellow bases (as opposed to red bases in the regular edition), a video tape, two T-shirts (a black Shinra one and a yellow chocobo one) and a small hard-cover book.
A Final Fantasy VIII theme JVC minidisc player could only be won as a reward by entering the prize draw, limited to 5,000 pieces. The unit is manufactured by Victor Japan/JVC. It has the Griever symbol embossed on the metallic plate on the front of the player, with the Final Fantasy logo in the corner, and the Coca-Cola logo on the back. The earphones have the Griever symbol on the outside.
Art Museum trading cards
Nine Coca-Cola Final Fantasy Art Museum Trading Card Collection cards exist, and used to come attached to 1.5 L Coca-Cola bottles in the year 2000 in Japan. The sealed card packs contained one card and Square merchandise advertisements. The cards belong to the first edition of Final Fantasy Art Museum cards, and could not be obtained in any other way than as part of the Coca-Cola campaign. The Coca-Cola cards have a clear background.
In year 2000 Coca-Cola released Final Fantasy Coca-Cola bottles featuring Cloud from Final Fantasy VII and Squall from Final Fantasy VIII drinking Coke.
Final Fantasy IX television advert
Final Fantasy IX was heavily marketed before and after its release. Starting on March 6, 2000, months before its July 7 release date, Final Fantasy IX characters were used in a computer-generated Coca-Cola commercial produced by Squaresoft (now Square Enix), made in similar style as the game's in-game FMVs. The commercial was aired in Japan. The deal of Square to join forces with Coca-Cola to promote both their products was revealed in the Tokyo Game Show.
In the commercial, the protagonist of Final Fantasy IX, Zidane, is seen in Alexandria chasing a bottle cap from a Coca-Cola bottle. Magical pink sparks erupt along the bottle cap's way causing miraculous changes in objects and people it passes. Zidane is joined by Garnet, Vivi and, eventually, Steiner. In the end, the bottle cap reaches the market square where it erupts in a large pink explosion sending balloons lifting to the sky with people celebrating.
The music for the commercial is included on the Final Fantasy IX: Original Soundtrack.
The request for the Coca-Cola collaboration characters came when the design work for the game's development was almost finished, and thus character designer Toshiyuki Itahana had very little trouble designing them. "If Tantalus were the official royal family band, I imagined that they would be a wandering troupe that comes to Alexandria once a year—that's the image I used when designing for the collaboration."
Behind the scenes
Final Fantasy VII related Pepsi advertisements also exist from 1997 promoting the game's release in North America, predating Square's efforts with Coca-Cola.
In Japan, the Coca-Cola Company's best selling product is not Coca-Cola, but Georgia.
Square's Parasite Eve II game, released in December 1999, has many in-game Coca-Cola items.
- TGS: Final Fantasy IX Characters Do Coke (dead) (Accessed: November 20, 2009) at [www.ign.com IGN]
- FINAL FANTASY IX 20th Anniversary Special Interview Vol. 2 (Accessed: July 15, 2020) at Final Fantasy North America