ViVaki’s Managing Partner Jack Klues had a tough job at hand. The session that would have otherwise seen the participation of ViVaki media service brand Starcom Worldwide’s client Coca-Cola and Klues, was left for Klues alone to handle. Scott McCune, VP, Integrated Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company, was unable to make it to Valencia for the event.
And it was up to Klues to share the marketing experiences and examples that The Coca-Cola Company had undertaken. For Coca-Cola, the base of the challenge, interestingly, was its popularity. The global awareness and ubiquity of the brand was more of its problem than its triumph. Coca-Cola Company was of the opinion that the brand had become inward looking and felt that it had to break through the clutter that was associated with the brand.
The objective for the brand was to move from perpetual to preferred, from incessant to irreplaceable and from popular to beloved. Coca-Cola has always focussed on young adults as part of its core target audience, and the objective of the company’s marketing strategy was to actively get this TG in its fold. The brand set on a marketing exercise ‘looking for love’. It was looking for a route that would change attitude in a way that could shape brand value.
The Coca-Cola Vision 2020 involved premier employment, global sustainability, to be preferred and trusted and above all, to have 3 billion servings a day. This made place for the insights, content and connection to be some of the key strands of the new DNA of the Coca-Cola way of marketing.
Coca-Cola’s plan had factors like brand strategy, brand and portfolio plans, market place execution at the centre of it. The focus was on insights and passions that would lead to experiences, through relevant content, which could in turn create love for the brand. And for all this, Coca-Cola was well aware that it needed partners. This was where Starcom Worldwide, and other agencies, including events agency Ignition, came in play.
Realigning agency structure to serve client needs
The agency and client relation eventually boils down to that. Starcom Worldwide had realigned its structure to focus on human passions, and this realignment came in play when Coca-Cola Company was in pursuit of brand love. Klues informed that Starcom’s response to Coca-Cola 2020 challenge was a plan that blended old and new media. Klues cited a series of examples to substantiate his point.
One of the first cases shown was of Coca-Cola’s work done during the Chinese New Year of 2009, when, based on the deep emotional passion that the Chinese have for the New Year, Coca-Cola came with the concept of ‘First Coke of the Year’. The marketing activity generated content, including earned and paid content, that engaged a large number of the audience and created unique consumer experience with the Coca-Cola brand.
Another example was of Coca-Cola’s happiness platform, where the idea was born from television, and taken to unexpected new types of engagement. Starcom Wordwide’s re-engineering as a human network allowed the agency to play the role of a hybrid idea facilitator. The approach was media agnostic, enabling fresh and unexpected touch points. There also was a need of a new age business partner for this initiative and the answer was in Microsoft. Coca-Cola partnered with Microsoft for the online film, and also a co-branded microsite for details of the film. Special editorial promos were also made on MSN for all the phases of the activity.
Demonstrating what the true meaning of a global initiative is, Klues also spoke about Coca-Cola Company’s FIFA World Cup initiative, of the Trophy Tour.
Klues said, “Today, emotional relationships have become important. The need is to connect with people through passions and to build brand love. Content and experience are the most potent currency.”
He ended by saying, “Going forward, the game would be about mining new sources of data and engaging people in a contextually relevant manner. We need to reframe relationships with media owners and leverage them into inspire new and breakthrough content.”