NEW DELHI: The Coca-Cola Company, home to some of India’s biggest beverage brands including Thums Up and Maaza, has re-oriented its digital properties toward content marketing in the country in a bid to tell better brand stories.

“We don’t call it a website anymore, it is a digital magazine. It’s a platform where we tell stories about anything and everything to do with Coca-Cola,” said Arpan Basu, general manager & head of communications at Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, at the Content Marketing Summit in New Delhi recently. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Behind Coca-Cola India’s content journey.)

Basu believes the communication environment has changed - content has become more and more democratic. Thus, Coca-Cola needed to move with the times.

“Everybody is a publisher now, everybody is a journalist, everybody has an opinion. Earlier, as corporate communications professionals, we had to deal with just a bunch of stakeholders or journalists, give them information and they in turn would go and talk about what the company is doing,” Basu said.

“Now there is social media and with all the digital platforms available, it doesn’t take any time for anything to become viral.”

Although Basu is reluctant to underplay the role of traditional media in Coca-Cola’s strategy - “It’s never about traditional media versus digital media”, he emphasised - he believes the power of the story is crucial regardless of the intended platform.

“If you are able to make the content interesting and easily digestible, you are able to deliver your messages much better than what you would in the traditional media, and the digital media cuts across age groups and consumer segments,” Basu said.

“The idea is that if you are not able to communicate your story in an all-inclusive 360 degree fashion, then you have failed in your communication. None of the stories in Journey are blatantly about Coca-Cola. It’s about the things we touch, and we don’t tell those stories, we let the people tell them,” he said, emphasising the company’s approach to its NGO work in India.

“Our platform allows the person who has been benefitted by the work we do with these NGOs to come forward and speak. All of this put together gives you a more credible form of storytelling. Ultimately, the platform is designed to tell stories, of the company and of the human side of the company.”

Sourced from WARC