On labels applied to a limited edition of 700 glass bottles, the iconic Coca-Cola logo lit up when touched. The 330-mL bottles were sent to Coca-Cola employees and “influencers” as part of Coke’s #BeSanta campaign, says a report in Packaging World (USA). The technology behind the campaign comes from Berlin-based Inuru, a specialist in Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED).
“When I saw samples of this technology, I just fell in love with it,” says Georgi Blaskov, senior brand manager Coca-Cola CEE. “We are certainly interested in future developments that could drive the cost of this kind of printed electronics down and eventually permit the use of this technology in at least seasonal or promotional mainstream packaging activities.”
For this project Inuru CEO Marcin Ratajczak says the labels were produced in two steps. First, a label converting specialist, All4Labels, used conventional inks and printing technology to produce pressure-sensitive paper labels bearing all the typography and colours typically found on a Coke label. Then rolls of these labels, including release liner, were sent to Inuru, where paper labels printed by the company were laminated on top. “We print both the light source and the energy source,” says Ratajczak. “When the label is touched, it’s like a circuit is closed between energy source and light source, which causes the Coca-Cola label to light up.”
Ratajczak describes this as the first OLED product in a packaging application brought to a sizeable audience by a major brand. “The potential of our technology lies in the fact that we can scale the production easily to billions of units because our inks make it possible to print OLED at a fraction of the cost of state-of-the-art technologies used in the production of electronics. Not only can we get the price down to cents per package, these are organic electronics, which means the technology is environmentally sustainable. And illumination is just the start” he believes.