Coke looks to innovate in Australia

5 November 2014

SYDNEY: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, has changed tack with its summer campaign in Australia, not only adding a range of new colours to sit alongside its iconic red can but also shifting its media focus from TV to digital channels.

"We realised we needed to up our game significantly in the innovation stakes," marketing manager Di Everett told the Australian.

"We usually spend 70% cent of our budget on tried and true media, 20% reapplying experiments and 10% on true innovation," she explained. The brand had sought to alter this allocation so that innovation "would be significantly higher than that in every medium."

Accordingly, the $10m campaign is breaking new ground in several areas, particularly outdoor, with, for example, graffiti artists being deployed to repaint certain billboards in the main cities of Sydney and Melbourne on a daily basis, while some bus shelters have been adapted to dispense cans of Coca-Cola.

In addition, signage in selected shopping centres will, when photographed by a smartphone, transform into a game that can be played on the phone.

That idea of hidden content that the target teen market can discover for themselves extends to the use of this photo image recognition technology in other media channels as well. And a media partnership agreed with video site YouTube includes a masthead takeover that will unlock particular content when teens interact with it.

Additionally, a series of online videos aims to connect with teens via their various interests, including music, fashion and gaming.

"We want teens to discover this world themselves," Everett said. "We wanted to be the group that has kept (being) iconic, otherwise we stop being what Coke has always been about."

While Everett said she expected to see a commercial gain as a result of the campaign, she declined to reveal specific sales targets. "It's not about volume," she stated. "It's about teens forming a relationship with us, considering us innovative, and the rest will follow."

Data sourced from The Australian; additional content by Warc staff