A while ago Bnox pulled a list of famous brand names on Facebook. Coke was clearly taking the lead. Yet, Clo marked that she felt the advertising strategy of Coca-Cola didn't push getting their story and ideas translated to web-based media. I replied on "Everything tastes better with Coke", commenting this:
In my opinion you're not wrong but Coke has to be credited to a certain point here. Maybe they don't need this leverage. After all they're already the number one popular brand without having to really engage in social media. I think they see no need to dip into that well this far.
Yes partly it's true, Coke doesn't seem to succeed, or even make effort, empowering their brand within social media. They don't quite engage with their customers, yet. And if they do it's rather poorly or unsupported. Coke doesn't shock us with distinct community campaigns in astonishing ways other brands have. On the other hand I think Coke should not be compared to brands like Dell and Adobe who have a much larger and more defined online audience, and also have a lot more and suitable content to make their mark for engagements in social media. Dell and Adobe need this presence online for support reasons, Coke doesn't really. But then again they are putting in much effort to do so: http://www.cocacolabelgium.be/showpage.asp?iPageID=2 I agree with you on the "entirely unbloggable websites" part as much of this website is flashcontent.
Also, Coke does ignite the audience in the online environment though. Some of their latest campaigns were picked up by wide range of people. Which resulted in lots of chatter online and thus raised value for the brand. I remember a social/charity campaign supported with some very nice photography which was plastered all over design and photography blogs a while ago. And I would also like to point to the campaign called the Happiness Factory. Although there is no real interaction campaign, not as far as I'm aware of, they have created some kind of cult (call it community) around the creation of their Hapiness Factory saga. The spots were produced by top motioncompany Psyop ( http://www.psyop.tv ) Lots of people, especially in Europe weren't even aware of the fact that these series ( http://www.cocacolabelgium.be/Happiness-Factory---The-Movie- ) of Coke spots were actually one larger story, credits due Wieden&Kennedy Amsterdam. Short after W&K had uploaded "the making of" ( http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2elp2_happiness-factory-behind-the-scenes_ads ) on their YouTube account it was removed kickstarting enthusiasts to repost the movie and rallying eachother to get there hands on a copy. Deliberate or accidental, maybe we should ask. Veerle Pieters wrote lots more on the Happiness Factory: http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/coca_cola_the_happiness_factory/ I'll just post the additional links to the .mov files here so they can easily be downloaded by ALT clicking them :) http://www.movedigital.com/go/veerlepieters/90874/psyop_coke_ad.mov http://www.movedigital.com/go/veerlepieters/90875/Mockumentary.mov http://www.movedigital.com/go/veerlepieters/90876/happinessfactory-hi.mov
Unfortunatly their interactive presence on this story so far is limited to a somewhat lame set of games you can play at http://hf3.coca-cola.com/?locale=be_NL
At Cannes this year Ivan Wicksteed, Global Creative Director of Coca-Cola, shed light on how the company turned a 30-second ad into a marketing platform that is expected to last for 30 years. Now that’s something gutsy to put in your creative brief. It should provide enough content for advertisers to leverage the brand in many ways using this platform as a jumpstart. For all I care all characters from these episodes can be brought alive in social media ways... Also had the redesign of the Coke identity, which mainly existed of symplifying the brandimage, was awarded with Gold in the design category at Cannes last year. I so loved it. But you were talking about social media, right. I'm sorry (*).
For Coca-Cola, so I've read, it’s not what people buy, it’s what they buy into. ( http://www.marketingwithmeaning.com/2008/06/19/cannes-day-2-coca-cola-storytelling )
A last something I would like to point out would have to make your doubt about their lack of online effort vanish somehow. In my point of view the CokeZeroGame ( http://www.cokezerogame.de ) really did establish a strong interactive value for the audience. Not a single drop of energy was send to be spared when Coke briefed North Kingdom to create the interactive version of a full blown action tv commercial. Word goes taht this is the 'largest' online campaign production so far, whatever that means of course. The choice for briefing North Kingdom was no random act since North Kingdom is considered to be The Number One digital agency in the world. And so, North did one hell of a job creating a fully online game that made my vain pump like raving madmen ( http://demo.northkingdom.com/cokezerogame )
Yet, I still don't drink CokeZero. I guess, to me, having a presence in social media isn't always key to better sales, buying behaviour or even to the relationship I have with the brand.
(*) Maybe Google should limit the number of characters in the Blogger commentsection ;) See you around