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For a business as recognisable as Coca-Cola, marketing campaigns are aimed less at driving awareness and more at increasing loyalty and love for the brand.

At Econsultancy’s JUMP New York event Coca-Cola’s Christy Amador gave an insight into the overarching marketing strategy employed by the brand, with particular reference to its campaign at the London Olympics.

Amador said that Coke’s marketing content always follows two basic principles – it has to be both liquid and linked.

Liquid refers to the fact that the content needs to flexible and able to filter down through all areas of the brand’s marketing activities, but it also needs to be linked together.

So regardless of the channels used - whether it’s social, mobile or TV – there has to be one ‘north star’ idea that links it all together.

We start with what we call ‘one big, fat, fertile idea’. If you start with that at the centre, it can flow down through all other platforms.

For the Olympics Coke decided to target teenage consumers by taking advantage of the inherently social values of the Games, which see the whole world coming together to focus on one event.

The campaign was called ‘Move To The Beat’, and the idea was to use music as the critical element of the storytelling.

Coke recruited London-based producer Mark Ronson and singer Katie B, then took five Olympic hopefuls and used the sound of their sports to create a song.

What came out was a lot of content, with digital at its heart. We wanted to create engagement through storytelling, so broadcast it through social, desktop, mobile and search.

The campaign involved five key elements: a feature length documentary, the song, TV commercials, Beat TV, and a series of digital/mobile apps called 'The Global Beat'.

The documentary

Titled ‘Beat of London 2012’, it was created as a full-length film following Ronson’s meetings with the athletes, and was serialised into 30 minute episodes for exclusive broadcast opportunities worldwide.

The producers also created a number of shorter two minute teaser clips to draw attention to the campaign.

Amador said that the documentary became the ‘north star’ focal point that connected all the other activities.

The song

The track, called 'Anywhere In The World', was co-created from sport sounds recorded during the documentary. 

TV commercial

The TV ads were used to celebrate and promote the song. The first one was filmed at an outdoor gig where the athletes recreated their sounds live on stage.

Coke invited teens and the press to the gig, with the result being that it looked more like a music video than a traditional TV ad. 

Beat TV

Beat TV was a daily magazine TV show that was broadcast during the Olympics. The highlights were shown on ‘The Global Beat’ website.

According to Amador, social media played a big part in promoting the show, with Twitter alone driving 122 million impressions.

Social and mobile apps - ‘Global Beat’

This was a tech driven experience that allowed teens to create their own version of the track.

It was accessible through a Facebook and mobile apps, as well as a desktop site. Overall more than 3.5 million unique versions of the track were created.

The results

Overall the campaign yielded some impressive results:

  • There were more than 25 million video views in total across desktop and mobile.
  • 1,220 people subscribed to the channel.
  • Coke was the second most talked about brand during the Games.
  • It achieved 242 million social web impressions, 39 million impressions on Facebook and 546,000 impressions on YouTube and Beat TV.
  • Move To The Beat was mentioned 246,000 times on Facebook.
  • Coca-Cola attracted an additional 1.5 million Facebook fans and 21,000 Twitter followers.
  • The campaign achieved 245 million search impressions, 461,000 clicks and a CTR of 0.2%.

What did Coke learn?

1. The importance of relevant content

Coke provided teens with five different ways to create and submit to the Global Beat to ensure an inclusive digital program that was technology agnostic.

2. Lay good foundations

Amador said the campaign proved to have an excellent impact on SEO. It ensured that traffic from search increased by 2,900% between May and June, representing 15% of total traffic.

3. Social listening and real-time content adaption

Beat TV showed the value of adapting content based on real-time feedback to help them maximise the role of paid and social media in the campaigns performance. 

According to Amador, the final shows in the series were unrecognisable from the first ones, as they had changed so much in response to viewer comments.

4. Use the right platform for the market/use case

Coke set up a global SMS platform for its marketers to engage more directly with teens. It achieved a 44% response rate and 250,000 registered users, so there are plans to develop and invest in this channel for future campaigns.

5. Ambition

Based on the success of the campaign, Coke intends to be ever more ambitious and evolving based on digital trends.

David Moth

Published 6 February, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

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Stephen Tamlin

Really good inside information here.

After the super bowl every online marketer is raving about real-time content, it's interesting to see that Coca Cola understood the importance of this last summer.

almost 4 years ago

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