The Coca- Cola Company proudly celebrated its 126th birthday in May. This company has a vibrant past and even more fascinating future.
This is a company who spends $2.9 billion a year on advertising, this is more than Apple and Microsoft combined. To put things into perspective, in terms of worldwide the average person consumes a coke product every 4 days. If you haven’t heard, Coca-Cola’s $35.1 billion in revenue makes it the 84th largest economy in the world. No wonder most every where on Earth people recognize or partake in this brand’s experience.
Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Office of The Coca-Cola Company describes the brand, “….we like to think Coca-Cola is more than just a drink. It’s a great connector. A common thread and a reminder that our shared dreams and aspirations far eclipse our differences. Even in the most unlikely of places”. As Henry Jenkins points out in his book, “Convergence Culture” , there’s no question that Coca-Cola is more than a soft drink bottler. It is an entertainment company that sponsors and in turn drastically influences everything from sporting events to reality shows. This focused emotional impact helps the brand surpass the “clutter” and be almost unforgettable.
Kevin Roberts CEO of Worldwide of Saatchi and Saatchi believes marketing should be about “lovemarks”, instead of traditional “brands”. This is due to the fact that they beckon for the emotions of “love” and “respect”. Emotions are smarter to target because they have an unlimited supply, compared to only targeting attention which is very limited.
The company does this to the fullest extent. Probably one of the most memorable tactics was in 1971. When the TV commercial “Buy the World a Coke” aired. At the time it was called the “Hilltop” ad and it was part of the “It’s the real Thing” campaign. Now it is considered one of the most beloved and recognized commercials of all time. Bill Backer the creative director in charge of Coke’s account at McCann-Erickson was mostly responsible for the commercial’s success. The song was later recorded by The New Seekers, renamed as “I” d Like To Teach the World to Sing, In Perfect Harmony” and released as a single. People were so moved by this commercial that new renditions of it are still being made today. This is a prime example of how this brand’s timeless story telling is still going strong.
AND THEY SANG:
I’d like to buy the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That’s the real thing……………..
Talking about emotional impact, Coca-Cola could not have picked a more dramatic and emotional reality show than American Idol to sponsor. The intensity of the competition and love for the various singers produce the most emotionally driven fans yet. Coca-Cola saw this and made their entry. This brand has mastered brand extension, making sure the consumer is brought into contact with the brand frequently. Not making their presence secretive is the real secret to their high awareness. Now contestants go to the “Red Room” for interviews before their performances. Coca-Cola rewards contestants with tickets sporting events. You probably found yourself thirsty when seeing Simon Cowell gulp out of his big red Coca-Cola cup. Of course their logo is in the background of most photo opportunities. In almost cut the Coca-Cola brand can be spotted. In addition to the actual TV show, Coca-Cola’s logo is visual all over the official American Idol site, especially the “Behind the Scenes” tab. This is just some of Coca-Cola’s brilliant marketing tactics that have been brainstormed by an innovative team willing to change with the times.