In the stand-out seminar of last year’s Cannes Lions, Coke’s UP for global advertising strategy and creative excellence stood before a packed auditorium to explain how The Coca-Cola Company’s approach to marketing had been ripped apart and rebuilt to help the organization attain its ambitious targets for growth. The pursuit of happiness / Rewriting the communications constitution was a fast and dirty process that gathered 40 global execs at Coke’s Atlanta WHQL in early 2011.
Over one intense week, the team thrashed out Content 2020, ten-step manifesto that comprehensively reinvented the organization’s marketing modus operand’: chapter and verse on World Domination, but in a nice way. Ever since that presentation at the Pal’s des Festivals, Content 2020 has been conspicuous in its availability. Even for a brand that’s all about sharing, the decision to publish its long-term marketing strategy in the form of a 20-minute animated Youth video was a provocative act of transparency.
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The friendly, whiteboard sketchbook-style clip is narrated by Millennial, his Leeds accent patiently walking the viewer wrought the finer points of ‘content excellence’ and what it means to create campaigns that are ‘Liquid and Linked’. This neat descriptor sums up the dynamic approach captured by Millennial and his colleagues: We want to create ideas that are so contagious we actually lose control of where they go,’ he explains. We want to inspire conversation that goes into places we couldn’t even imagine. ‘ But all, of course, directly linked to the values and objectives that matter to the company’s stable of brands.
We will do to the size of our business what it took us 125 years to achieve. That means here’s no convention in the organization that isn’t worth reconsidering. Jonathan Millennial proofs. Tend 4 LIQUID, LINKED AND LIKED One of the first major responses to Content 2020 came from (Contagious 31) launched almost by stealth as bottles of Coke bearing 150 of the most popular Susie first names began to appear on shelves in stores. Sharing is caring / As the press and public began to catch on, the campaign proper rolled out.
Newspaper ads and TV’s showing a montage of volunteered photos of people with the same first name hit screens during Australia’s biggest sporting weekend, caching around 30% of the total population. The hook was in Coke creating a reason people to connect with friends and family, or reconnect with those they lost touch with. The idea flowed through as many channels as possible – mobile, Backbone, outdoor, TV, radio – to ensure maximum participation, while mobile kiosks toured shopping centers to cater to less mainstream names. For Millennial the campaign was ‘classic Liquid and Linked.
It’s social at the heart, it puts the brand in the hands of our consumers, it’s user-generated content, it’s telling great stories organically. ‘ Better yet, he continues, It’s changing the marketing plan half way through the actual activation because it becomes so popular that we have to call a national referendum on more names to be added to the cans and bottles. ‘ It also drove sales for that market up by 5%, rising to 7% amongst the target audience of younger consumers. 50/51 Marketing is about making people fall in love with your brands. I know instantly when a story is well-crafted. It hits you in the heart.
Xavier Sanchez Lames, up marketing, TCL Latin America ART & COMMERCE Millennial is passionate about the relationship between creativity and commerce. In the industry crucible of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, The Coca-Cola Company (TCL) this year picked up a total of 30 Lions, Grand PRI. We take Cannes incredibly seriously, because it’s a benchmark for excellence amongst this great global peer group,’ he says. We’re only going to be successful if we inspire participation among the world’s most creative minds; I’d much rather have them thinking about Coca-Cola Company brands than anybody else’s.
We now have creative falling over themselves to put their best ideas into our organization. ‘ Strength in depth / The woo Grand PRI in particular highlight the breadth and depth of work through which a brand as old and familiar as Coca-Cola is connecting with consumers across its huge global constituency. The Coke Hands poster from Ogling Shanghai, which won top honors in the Outdoor category, is simplicity itself, an iconic graphic idea that perfectly embodies the original brief ‘Sharing a coke’.
No translation required. At the other end of the creative spectrum, a collaboration with Google earned Coke its second Grand PRI, topping the newly-minted Mobile category with a fresh take on the brand’s iconic Hilltop commercial. The reworked campaign picked up on the original lyric ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’, creating a desktop and mobile ad interface that allowed users to ‘send’ a can of soda to one of a network of custom-built vending machines across the world.
Cascade, the 16-meter digital waterfall, responded to people’s movement; the more you interacted, the more colorful and animated it became. LATIN LEADERSHIP The ability to produce highly creative work across every conceivable touching in markets as geographically and culturally distinct as China and America has been especially striking this past year. Nowhere, however, has the output been quite so diverse, so consistently inventive as Latin America, a fact not lost on Millennial: ‘The correlation between creative success and commercial success has been proven in Latin America.
Over the last five years it’s been our most awarded region, and the most consistent growth driver of volume and profit for The Coca-Cola Company. ‘ proofs. Tend 5 06/08/2012 18:27 728 Annual servings of TCL soft drinks per capita, Mexico per capita, China The hit factory / In Ecuador, a shopping centre played host to Cascade, a 16-meter interactive virtual Coke waterfall; Nexus Interactive Arts designed the waterfall to ‘play with passers-by, generating unique patterns and effects to match their movements.
Ogling Brasilia Sprite Shower offered a more literal take on a similar theme. A giant Sprite dispenser was installed on the beaches of ROI De Jeanine to bring the idea of ‘refreshment’ to life in the wettest way possible, drenching those brave enough – or maybe Just hot enough -to push the lever. Sports and music, so often the focus of dreary sponsorship initiatives, also benefit from the region’s apparent willingness to leave no idea – however oilfield – unturned. In Argentina, Coke’s Cheering
Truck, conceived by Del Camp NCAA Chitchats & Chitchats, captured the country’s passion for football, traveling from stadium to stadium to record a million cheers, later played out to boost the national team during the Copra America. In Colombia, music fans downloaded tracks during a special concert, masterminded by Ogling & Matter, Bogota, which began with their favorite band Xavier Sanchez Lames hoisted high above an adoring crowd. As the downloads racked up, the band edged down, until they were finally in full sight on the stage.
In another campaign, CATV footage was scrutinized not for crime but for moments that showed everyday people at their best, with the spontaneous acts of kindness and altruism collated into a montage celebrating the goodness that is often overlooked. Into the heart of its marketing has been matched by Coca-Cola Latin America’s rigor in establishing an internal system that allows it to thrive. We have several secret weapons,’ explains Lames. ‘First, we work as one integrated team across all our 35 countries. Our agencies are part of the team.
We also work with a horizon of 24 months stock of marketing materials. This gives us time to think and to dedicate resources to innovation. We have clear roles ND responsibilities among the different team members. The decision making process is transparent, fast and we delegate as low as we can in the organization. Our quality standards are high. When you work in Coca-Cola “good” is not enough. We work in a powerful Marketing Factory. It’s a different model than the traditional way of working in a marketing department.
It struck a huge, emotional chord throughout the region, and drew over a million Youth hits in Just three weeks. Remained the iconic Hilltop ad for the contemporary world, enabling web and mobile users to virtually send a can of Coke from their screen to distant vending canines around the world 52/53 Today’s culture demands a continual dialogue with consumers, meaning more content, more often to feed the conversation that is 2417, always on. We have to be more efficient than we ever have before with our production budgets to get the content that we need to feed that dialogue.
Our introduction of value-based compensation has helped us feel very confident that we are sharing the risk of creativity with the agencies that provide it, but also that we are rewarding outstanding performance from those agencies that deliver. Agencies have the opportunity to make double the profit than before we introduced it, but likewise if their work isn’t performing, that profit is at risk. Jonathan Millennial Measuring success The Coca-Cola Company has two key quantitative measures that it uses to measure performance.
The first is brand volume, described in terms of ‘Unit cases’, a unit of measurement equal to 24 eight-ounce (mall) servings of finished beverage. The second is Brand Love, a metric considered as important as market share to the firm, and of critical relevance to Jonathan Millennial and team. The company uses a proprietary tracking tool to quantify Brand Love, interviewing over a 400,000 customers each year across more than 90 of its worldwide markets. The data collected