By Ryan Velez
Anyone who spends time following or working in the financial world is well-familiar with Warren Buffett. Whether it’s his shrewdness as an investor that earned him the title “Oracle of Omaha,” the wealth that he’s managed to accrue as a result of his investments, or some of the amusing anecdotes of thriftiness in his personal life, there’s a lot to say about the man. One little factoid is that he loves Cherry Coke, and Celebrity Net Worth reports that China is taking this to a whole new level, actually featuring a cartoon version of Buffett on his favorite drink.
While this may sound a bit absurd at first, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to this unique marketing idea. For one, Buffett is beloved in China, having a very positive reputation in the country due to his acumen and investing skill. Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting last year drew in thousands of Chinese investors last year, and while it was streamed to the entire world in English, the only translation done was into Mandarin.
Another thing is that he is the largest investor in Coca-Cola. Many have seen him drinking Cherry Coke, and he actually earned the honorary title of “best-known fan” from the company’s CEO. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway share in the company is a 9.3% stake valued at roughly $17 billion. Overall, he commands a net worth of $75 billion. Buffett’s initial investment took place in 1985. In his shareholder’s letter, he freely admits to consuming enough Coke and candy to “to satisfy the weekly caloric needs of an NFL lineman.” Buffett’s sweet tooth even expands to eating ice cream for breakfast.
So while Buffett certainly doesn’t need the money, one question is raised as to whether or not he stands to profit from this appearance of sorts. Apparently, he will not, as he is not being paid for the privilege, and didn’t sit for the portrait. By all accounts, though he is pleased, according to director of marketing for Coca-Cola in China Shelly Lin. “We honestly were surprised when Mr. Buffett agreed to the idea,” Lin said. “But we’re thrilled, and he’s selling well.” If you are looking for one stateside, you will have your chance, as the special edition cans will reportedly be available during Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha in May.