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Posts Tagged ‘Coca-Cola’

Our 26 Biggest Stories of 2013, Part One

High fivin' sunbeams

High fiving sunbeams and eating dolphins, bro

They came. They saw. They made you click. They were our biggest stories of the year.

These posts were alternately embarrassing, inspiring, thought-provoking and barely comprehensible—but they attracted the most attention from our readers for reasons that we don’t always understand.

In fact, there were so many great ones in 2013 that we decided to double the original total of 13 to 26. What’s that, you ask? Of course we’re not splitting the list in half in order to get more posts up during the holiday season. What a ridiculous question!

On to the list, which we dedicate to our faithful readers. Let’s hope the news of stunts, mistakes and misdeeds gets a little brighter in 2014 (yeah, right).

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15 Tips from Brand Pros on Setting Up Social Media Command Centers

MasterCard SM Command Center TeamIn this era where brands hit home runs or strike out in real-time, social media command centers have become more common. They may serve different purposes, but whatever the goals, they require advance planning and substantial resources.

At ANA’s recent Real-Time Marketing Conference in New York, speakers from three major brands shared their experiences and offered their perspectives on what’s involved:

Capital One: Patrick McLean, VP, Digital Marketing
Coca-Cola: Doug Busk, Director of Global Connections
MasterCard: Marcy Cohen, VP, Senior Business Leader

We’ve distilled their comments into a primer on each aspect of the process. Their advice could prove useful for other companies to establish new command centers or fine tune existing ones.

1.Decide on goals: Objectives for social media command centers vary, from listening to conversations, monitoring and analyzing sentiment to creating customized real-time content based on current events.

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PR Win: Coca-Cola Suspends Ad Budget in the Philippines to Support Typhoon Recovery

75

Here’s that rare example of a massive and at times ethically challenged corporation doing something good not because it has to but because it can.

Last week Coca-Cola announced plans to suspend its advertising budget in the Philippines starting on November 18th and redirect that money to local recovery efforts after typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) left much of the country in desperate need of humanitarian aid. While the company began distributing water immediately after the storm via The Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, it initially planned to donate only “US$2.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions.”

That promise expanded three days later, however:

“Any committed advertising space will be redirected to the relief and rebuilding efforts for the people in Visayas.”

We’re as cynical as the next blogger, which is to say “extremely”, and we didn’t see any real numbers in the update. But the point is that Coke didn’t have to go this far in its charity efforts—and that’s the key to success on the CSR front.

(H/T to SunnySkyz for this one)

Why Coke and Pepsi Will Talk Obesity, but Not Diabetes

Pepsi-and-CokeWe’ve all seen Coke and Pepsi‘s pro-health, obesity-prevention campaigns that insist their sweet beverages can be a part of an active, healthy lifestyle, especially given their calorie-free options. But these ads never seem to mention diabetes, which is quickly becoming an even bigger PR problem for sugary brands than obesity. As it turns out, there’s a reason for the glaring omission.

Adweek reports that information released by Wall Street bank Credit Suisse and research done by Georgetown University show that most people who saw a sugary soda ad with a pro-exercise, anti-obesity message reacted with a positive attitude toward the products’ parent brand. When the ad was changed to send an anti-diabetes message, however, participants’ attitudes toward the brand became 37 percent more negative.

That’s a huge shift in reaction.

“People are not willing to punish the brand for obesity, which seems like a lifestyle problem. But diabetes is considered a disease, and many consumers see the parent brand as contributing to it,” said Kurt Carlson, a Georgetown marketing professor who oversaw the study.

Though trying to sugar-coat the diabetes issue (no pun intended) seems to rub consumers the wrong way, the brands’ decision to simply ignore the issue won’t make it go away, either; Read more

Pepsi Dressed As Coke for Halloween

Not much comment needed on this one. Clever work from Belgian agency Buzz in a Box.

pepsi_halloween

Two questions, though: why was the spot not all over social yesterday? And where’s Coke’s response?

Also: dig the reversal of the “L” and the “C” in the logo to avoid a copyright infringement suit.

Health Organizations Shame Katy Perry for Repping Pepsi

The Sellouts - YouTubeKids love celebrities. Kids also love sweet treats. It’s a match made in marketing heaven, which is why soda and celebrity have gone hand-in-hand since Marilyn Monroe was sipping Coke in black-and-white.

In today’s health-conscious atmosphere, however, the star/soft drink marriage is drawing some serious ire from health organizations focused on tackling America’s obesity epidemic. The latest target of that ire is Pepsi-pushing pop star Katy Perry.

A group of seven health organizations, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, will run an open letter to the starlet today in Variety, urging her not to “exploit [your] popularity by marketing a product that causes disease in your fans.”

The letter draws parallels between the ramifications of marketing soda to children and those of marketing cigarettes to children.

“Virginia Slims and other tobacco companies used glamorous celebrities and models to position smoking as hip, sexy and rebellious. Today soda companies are using you and other celebrities to convince young people that drinking soda is hip, sexy and rebellious.”

The letter goes on to impress upon the star the weighty responsibility she has acquired along with her enormous fame and popularity among America’s youth: Read more

Coca-Cola Just Made a Park Somewhere in Europe

Coca-Cola‘s “part of a healthy lifestyle” spin isn’t gaining much traction. But it’s hard to argue against feel-good stunts like this one, in which the kings of sugar water set up a makeshift park to shine some light on an anonymously dreary Eastern European city. The little sponsored party promotes happiness through reckless activities like shoeless frisbee, no-rules soccer and the rampant blowing of bubbles. Also: t-shirts grow on trees, but attendees must bring their own picnic baskets.

It’s like Occupy Wall Street with better funding and an even less focused message.

Will Coke be setting up a patch of grass complete with solitary sapling in your hometown? Don’t count on it: securing the permits would be a nightmare.

Coke Kills Promo Campaign Calling Customers ‘Douche’ and ‘Retard’

Douche.

Unfortunately for Coca-Cola, two of America’s favorite French words happen to be classic playground insults: “douche” and “retard.”

The company’s Canadian division created a campaign for its VitaminWater brand in which every bottle cap included one word in French and one in English. The idea was that consumers could collect the combinations and make funny French/English combinations, and while we weren’t exactly clear what the point of the campaign would be, it quickly turned south for the company.

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Mexico Isn’t Buying Coca-Cola’s ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ Spin, Either

It’s not just Michael Bloomberg, guys—our neighbor to the south doesn’t seem fazed by Coke‘s latest “soda can be part of a healthy, active lifestyle” message either.

As Coca-Cola looks to offset diminishing American sales by targeting other areas, public advocacy organizations within Mexico are running PSA campaigns designed to warn the public about the dangers of soda consumption. It’s especially relevant this summer: Mexico, which is second to the U.S. in soda consumption per capita, surpassed us in June to become the most obese of the world’s major economies.

See a pattern developing here?

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Coke’s All-Digital, Teen-Targeted ‘AHH Effect’ Campaign Proves AHH-ffective

It’s been almost six months since Coca-Cola launched its first ever teen-targeted, all-digital, content-based campaign, The AHH Effect, which has been continually releasing new “experiences” via multiple variations of www.ahh.com (each including one more “H” in its URL). Each site features “a teen-worthy moment of randomness, creativity and delight that’s best experienced from teens’ favorite gadgets – their mobile devices.” Just in the past month, 20 more AHH.com URLs have gone live.

In case the all-caps have confused you, the “AHH” in AHH Effect is not meant as a panicked scream, but as a satisfied sigh. Coke’s initial release about the campaign described it this way:

The AHH Effect” is that multidimensional feeling of happiness, satisfaction and delicious refreshment one experiences after drinking an ice-cold Coke. It’s been described as the sound a smile would make if smiles made sounds, and it’s the centerpiece of a new teen-focused program from Coca-Cola. Bringing to life 61 dimensions of ‘AHH’ through a range of digital experiences, from games and films to GIFs, the program showcases all of the qualities of Coke and positions the beverage as the ultimate refresher.”

Included in the latest batch of experiences are several created with some of Coca-Cola’s key customer partners, including McDonalds, AMC Theatres, Six Flags and 7-Eleven. The brands partnered to explore the AHH Effect, and used the same combination of “gamification” and whimsy that Coke used during the initial launch of the campaign. For instance, the experience created with Six Flags, “Don’t Spill The Coke,” is a fast-paced game in which users try to keep their Coca-Cola from tipping over while riding a rollercoaster.

A seriously clever campaign that touches on many things digital experts point to when dealing with teens: their love of mobile devices, short attention spans, and willingness to engage others in something that interests them. But is it working?

Statistics gathered by Coke would point to the AHH-firmative. Read more

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