Coca-cola: How a classic brand stays relevant in the digital eraGetty Images
Lyndsey Wheeler / Staff Writer -
Coca-Cola is no novice when it comes to creative marketing campaigns. The 126-year old company is a veteran of brand-building and customer engagement. Since 2009, Coke’s “Happiness Campaign” has delivered creative, memorable marketing experiences that are easily relatable and highly sharable.
The centerpiece of the Happiness Campaign are Coke vending machines that dispense everything including free sodas, flowers, pizza, Polaroid photographs, and sandwiches. These Happiness Campaign machines have cropped up in cities all around the world. Where the machines are absent, the World Happiness truck takes the dispensary on the road and delivers its goodies to the Phillipines, Honduras, Russia, South Africa, Egypt, Hong Kong, and many others. Experimenting with other ways to engage happy customers, in Singapore for example, Coke’s Happiness Hug Machine required a loving squeeze from the customer before dispensing a free drink.
In preparation for the summer Olympics, Coke teamed up with music superproducer Mark Ronson for the “Move to the Beat of London 2012” campaign. Move to the Beat was geared at bringing young people closer to the London games by tapping into their love for music. In keeping with the new initiative, Coke installed a dance-activated Happiness Machine in Belgium to drum up excitement for the upcoming games.
While certainly heartwarming, the Happiness Machines themselves aren’t the genius part of their campaign. The authentic experiences of unassuming customers approaching and using the machines were all recorded and then posted to YouTube for maximum visibility. Due to the creative ideas, authentic and entertaining responses from participants, and relatable message about spreading happiness, it’s no surprise that the videos have gone viral. The original Coca-Cola Happiness Machine video has over 5 million views.
Coke has demonstrated its willingness to take risks in the digital marketing sphere. Understanding the online social sharing tool, Coke propelled its Happiness Campaign to worldwide recognition with the sharability of its videos. In Brazil, Coke took its desire for digital relevance and its knowledge of the local market a step further by installing the Coke Happiness refill machine. Rather than dispensing free beverages, the modern looking soda machine gives out data credits for free Internet use on a Coca-Cola browser. In Brazil, where free wifi is uncommon, Coke’s refill machine serves a unique function.
Now Coke is demonstrating its agility by making the turn towards content marketing. On Monday, November 12, Coca-Cola unveiled its redesigned corporate website. Modeled after an online magazine, “Coca-Cola Journey” demonstrates Coke’s ambitious dive into the brands as publishers movement. The website, which currently sees 1.2 million unique viewers per month, will offer articles on entertainment, health, human interest, interviews, and opinion columns, in hopes of attracting even more viewers.
Fully committed to its new mission, Coca-Cola’s online team has been revamped to mimic that of a magazine with four full-time employees, a corps of freelance writers and photographers, and a strict editorial calendar. The content will be a mix of original, aggregated, and curated material.
Coca-Cola has built a consistent brand based on tradition and a long history of making people happy. Despite its retro origins however, Coke has remained relevant in the age of evolving marketing methods and technologies. By staying flexible and open to adopting innovative marketing strategies, such as the Happiness Campaign and the Coca-Cola Journey, Coke will continue to maintain its reputation as one of the most commonly known and loved household brands.
This article you are reading was written by Lyndsey for NewsCred Blog and is available for syndication through NewsCred, the world's leading content marketing platform.
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