I have been impressed with Coke’s Marketing execution the past couple of years. I love the Coke Freestyle machines where you can customize your own drink from up to 100 options. And I have to admit loving the names on the bottle, even though I had my doubts in the beginning. All that great stuff, and yet the sales have been sluggish for the past 15 months. It’s not the activity that is at fault. It’s just that people want healthier options and Coke is now fighting against that major consumer movement away from Sugary or Aspartame drinks. Sugary cereals are going through the same crisis. But since Coke can’t “fix” the health trend, they may as well try to fix the activities–even if it’s not broken.
With the earnings report showing that Coke’s revenue has fallen for the past 3 straight quarters, I can only imagine the CEO walking down the hall to find the CMO and say “we need your Advertising to sell more product”.
Here’s a great example of a Coke ad idea called “Remove labels this Ramadan” that really touches the consumer’s soul. Even with 19 Million views, it likely didn’t sell a lot of Coke.
To me, an Advertising idea is like a magnet. When it gets too far away from the brand, it no longer moves the brand. The “share happiness” campaign was a huge umbrella idea, but likely so huge, the one thing it didn’t do is move product.
Today, Coke announced two moves in rolling out their new “Taste the Feeling” advertising campaign. First, you will see in the work that they are clearly linking life moments with drinking Coke. Meaning the creative team was told: “we have to SELL MORE PRODUCT”. Or as I would say, the ads have to move feet. Second, they announced they would have ONE Master Brand creative idea for all 3 Coke products, red Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero.
Here is the main spot Coke launched today, appropriately called Anthem.
I would say it’s an OK spot, not a great spot. For a 90 second spot called “Anthem” it lacks the emotional appeal you would expect, and it won’t really generate any viral share-ability. It has a lot of product shots, but not really the connectivity needed to move product. And I barely even noticed any Diet Coke or Coke Zero.
To evaluate advertising, we use something we call the ABC’S, which stands for Attention, Branding, Communication and Stickiness. I’d say these score low on attention, moderate on branding, modest on communication and pretty low on stickiness. These type of spots that show a lot of consumer moments to a song usually end up as wallpaper that falls into the background of our multi-tasking lifestyle. There’s no real compelling story here.
Here’s another TV ad called “What is Coke for?”
Again, a bit generic. No emotional pull. Lots of Coke fizzle. And hard to find the Diet Coke or Coke Zero.
The print does a better job in capturing emotion than the TV, showing how Coke fits in to various moments of your life.
Here’s a challenge to Coke, if you are going to name your new spot “Anthem”. make sure it is as epic as this 1971 TV ad:
Do you think this new campaign will increase Coke’s revenue?
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