Today we’re going to be talking about the marketing campaigns of the coca-cola company coca-cola was first invented within an atlanta-based pharmacy by dr john pemberton in may 1886 initially sold at local soda fountain counters growing demand and the idea of making the beverage portable led to bottling the sparkling drink in its first year pemberton sold just nine glasses of coca-cola a day for five cents a glass since then the company has expanded ever so slightly currently selling its products at an estimated rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day that’s the equivalent every day to almost one in four people buying something from coca-cola the coca-cola company is one of the most recognized companies in the world and it’s certainly the world’s biggest drink company.
How Coca Cola brand marketing works?
They control more than half the global market in carbonated soft drinks as well as a substantial chunk of the somewhat larger non-carbonated segment it owns four of the world’s five biggest selling soft drinks with coca-cola being the world’s best-known and most valuable non-technology brand within its portfolio the company holds more than 500 brands including fanta sprite and relentless within these they produce over three and a half thousand varied products spanning from sodas to bottled water to iced teas and coffees despite an estimated 94 of the world’s population recognizing the red and white coca-cola logo nearly 10 percent of their revenue 41 billion dollars were spent on advertising and marketing campaigns.
Last year this astronomical 4 billion dollars were spent on a diverse range of campaign tactics across multiple geographic regions as with many things in the world ironically the companies that are the most well recognized possessed the highest budget for their advertising and public image luckily this hefty budget allows kirk to experiment and get creative with their marketing providing the opportunity to remind us why they’re as successful as they are now what is the coca-cola brand built upon? well it’s this secret training our brains to associate the brand with a good feeling be that happiness relaxation friends love anything rather than the soda itself that makes them good at what they do.
I’ m going to go through a few examples here first of all let’s have a look at the 2015 christmas advert for many the arrival of the iconic holidays are coming coca-cola truck it’s a highlight of the period building excitement for christmas the ad might be 21 years old but interest in it shows little sign of diminishing as it brings out everyone’s nostalgic side the focus of last year’s a coke for christmas ad follows a young boy who aims to spread the joy through giving coca-cola to those who are making christmas a reality including a dad a shop assistant and santa claus himself now the important aspects of the advert is that it targets the whole family the ability to provide the experience for the entire family is essential the commercial itself closely follows coke’s primary principles in their advertising rather than attempting to sell a drink coke focuses on selling an abstract positive concept such as happiness family and sharing as we can see coke have become experts at selling these non-concrete conceptions.
Like many before it remains true to their core values that they use in their marketing campaigns year-round along with this coke modified their traditional formula for advertising adopting a more multi-channel approach traditionally video print and physical advertising were the focal point of kirk’s festive commercials however this year saw the addition of coke tv and social media via hashtags and a coke emoji this was an attempt to broaden their influential radius now the next example we’re going to look at is called shara can now coke’s share happiness campaign has been one of the key pillars of their advertising machine.
This involved multiple previous strategies such as the coke hug me machine and the hugely successful debranding tactic which we’ll talk about in a few minutes however the coca-cola sharing can may have successfully created the most literal rendition of sharing a coke the regular looking can of coke can be twisted to become too many cans allowing probably one of the easiest method for sharing a coke on the move as part of the pilot project coke distributed its sharing can to thirty singaporeans and documented their surprised reactions the documentary of this surprised happiness involved the team accompanying the distributors following them to areas where they knew there would be heavy traffic and filmed people’s authentic reactions this documentation provided coke with video evidence of the purest possible form of happiness showing how people would react and the kind of power it has now.
Finally we got onto the branding as mentioned earlier arguably the most successful share happiness campaign would be the debranding tactic marketing director lucy austin and her team within coca-cola south pacific branch we delivered a 151 word creative brief that gave them free reign to deliver a truly disruptive idea that would make headlines and capture the country’s attention the resulting campaign known internally as project connect based on its ambition to both strengthen the brand’s bond with australia’s young adults and inspire shared moments of happiness with the real and virtual worlds it became known as share a coke the primary concept behind this was the swapping out of coke branding on bottles and cans in favor of 150 of the most popular names in australia allowing coke to reach 42 percent of the population.
This campaign was released and almost immediately saw a positive reaction with unaffiliated celebrities buying bottles and social media conversation and media coverage blowing up as a result within that summer coke sold more than 250 million named bottles and cans in a nation of just under 23 million people this overwhelming positive result led to the expansion of the campaign across the world reaching more than 70 countries as the campaign spread across the globe over 17 000 names were used including generic nicknames and titles such as mom and dad and mate these additional titles purposefully made the invitation more about giving a coke to someone else rather than keeping it to yourself and broadened the appeal and played to their core principles .
The ability of such a revolutionary and notable campaign could be argued to rely solely on the ability to relate to the customer on the eye level lucy austin suggests that the success derives from the use of our name the most personal thing we possess it’s our fingerprint our identity in one word it can’t get much more personal than seeing our name our own unique identifier on a bottle of coke the campaign capitalized on the global trend of self-expression and sharing but it did so in an emotional way coke’s advertising team have released its fair share of interesting campaigns some with more success than others but few could be called an outright disaster with the possible exception of new coke the continued pursuit of alluring and revolutionary advertising tactics by coke is sure to assist the sales of their products worldwide and will not be likely to go anywhere anytime soon as you can see coca-cola have shown that by engaging with their customers and not just shouting from the rooftops about how great they are they’re able to grow year on year and build a brand loyalty and a brand awareness that you just don’t see in many other sectors and it’s a lesson that a lot of companies could do with learning.