Any Buffett fan can tell you that Buffett’s favorite beverage is Cherry Coke. In fact, it’s the official drink of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder’s meeting. Buffett himself says that he drinks around five sodas a day and his company is the largest shareholder of Coke, with around 9.3% of its shares belonging to Berkshire Hathaway. And now, it seems like Buffett has become the temporary mascot of Cherry Coke cans in China.
According to Coca-cola, the caricature of the octogenarian billionaire investor will grace cans of Cherry Coke as part of a limited-time promotion to relaunch the product in China. Buffett, a fan of Cherry Coke and something of a rockstar in China, was a natural choice for the promotion.
“Chinese consumers love new flavors and crave excitement from brands like ours as we launch new products,” said Shelly Lin, Coca-Cola China’s Marketing Director for Trademark Coca-Cola. “As we thought of the most creative ways to bring the great taste of Cherry Coke to China, we thought who better to celebrate the launch of this special drink than its best-known fan… We honestly were surprised when Mr. Buffett agreed to the idea. But we’re thrilled, and he’s selling well,” Lin said.
Buffett, however, is receiving no compensation for the use of his visage, which will be available in China for the first six months of the rerelease of the beverage. Buffett told Yahoo Finance that if, after six months, the company wanted to continue he would probably agree.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Buffett has engaged in a fun publicity stunt for his favorite beverage. In 2015, he recorded a song in honor of the fizzy sweet beverage’s 100th anniversary.
Buffett’s popularity in China also likely played a role in the decision, and it has been reported that over the last few years, more and more Chinese investors make the annual trip to Omaha for Berkshire’s annual meeting. The livestream of the meeting is also translated to Mandarin in response to the interest overseas.