Coca-Cola goes digital in India and China

23 June 2009

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola, the US-based soft drinks company, is making increased use of digital tools like mobile and social media as it seeks to connect with consumers in fast-growing markets such as India and China.

At the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Carol Kruse, the company's vice president of interactive marketing, argued that while no single strategy provided an effective model for mobile communications in every country, Coca-Cola had enjoyed some recent success in India.

She said that "there are some markets where it is either very difficult or very expensive to execute rich content on the mobile. Mobile in that sense cannot be global – you cannot take one mobile idea and apply to various markets."

However, the Mobile Minutes campaign in India, which allowed consumers to enter a code from the lid of a bottle of Coca-Cola onto their mobile phones and receive free talk-time, demonstrated one marketing idea with multinational potential.

Kruse said this scheme has "been such a success that we will be expanding this programme to various other countries."

Similarly, Coca-Cola employed a number of social media tools during the Beijing Olympics in China last year, including launching a "virtual torch relay", conducted in partnership with QQ, the instant messaging service run by Tencent.

The Coca-Cola Olympic Photo Montage also featured over 17 million images contributed by Chinese "netizens", while the Design the World a Coke interactive web application allowed consumers to create their own Coke bottles online and share their ideas with other web users around the world.

Kruse added that "during the Chinese New Year, we began a campaign on 'Who are you going to share your first Coke with?', and we had an overwhelming response" among the online audience.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by WARC staff