Coke targets mums

07 October 2011

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, is seeking to enhance its position with mums, reflecting the importance of this audience in the purchase process.

According to Wendy Clark, Coke's SVP, integrated marketing communications and capabilities, the company regards mothers as an "absolutely" vital demographic to engage.

"Mums are just as important as teens. Mums are keepers of the fridge. If we don't build credibility with them, the product never makes it into the house," she said, according to Cream.

"We can build all the brand love we want with teens, but they won't have access to the product at home."

The changing habits of many mums means digital media will play an essential role here, indicative of broader shifts taking place in terms of popular media consumption.

"We're looking at owned, earned, shared and paid media, and we'll look at mums through all those lenses," said Clark.

Similarly, Coca-Cola asked around 20 influential "mommy bloggers" to visit its headquarters for two days, in an effort to increase their understanding of all aspects of its operations.

"We were very transparent with them. We told them about our sustainability initiatives and we even talked to them about what's in our products," Clark said.

Consumer insights have a primary position in this area, as securing a clear view of the attitudes and interests of mothers will be central to comprehending, and serving, their unique needs.

"The brand can only gain credibility with mums by understanding women," said Clark. "I wouldn't say that Coke has it cracked yet, but we're constantly striving to do better."

Drawing on her own personal experience can also provide a quick barometer of whether the communications produced for Coca-Cola's brands is likely to connect with mums.

"I know what it is to be awake in the night with a kid with a fever and then have a meeting with the chief executive in the morning," said Clark. "I can feel if our work is too gratuitous, or if it's trying to buy too much into the 'superwoman' ideal or playing to the stereotypes."

Data sourced from Cream; additional content by Warc staff