This essay will describe and analyse the Coca-Cola Coming Together campaign launched in 2013. The different approaches between the UK and the USA are also discussed with the help of Chaffey’s 6 steps campaign plan version:
- Goal setting and tracking for interactive marketing communications
- Campaign Insight
- Segmentation and Targeting
- Offer, message development and creative
- Budgeting and selecting the digital media mix
- Integration into overall media schedule or plan
Goal setting and tracking for interactive marketing communications include SMART and annual marketing objectives and campaign specific objectives:
Coca-Cola has launched a new campaign initiative ‘Coming Together’ on 14th January 2013. The main objective is to beat one of the most worldwide serious health problems – obesity. Besides, they wanted to create awareness towards diabetes sick people. The company provided all packages with calorie counts information on the front of its products, and made their low and no-calorie drinks more available in each market in 200 countries where Coca-Cola is sold.
Coca-Cola points out in the first two-minute commercial video “Coming Together” that it offers 180 low- and no-calorie beverages out of more than 650 beverage products. When appearing on CNN’s in October, Michael Jacobson (executive director of the CSPI) agreed that sugar and soda consumption are indeed on the decline.
The Coca Cola Campaign has changed the visual packaging of the coke bottles and named “Diet Coke” which is more feminine and “Coca-Cola Zero” suitable for men.
In its new campaign, Coca-Cola states that “beating obesity will take action by all of us, based on one simple, common-sense fact: All calories count, no matter where they come from. And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.”
Coca Cola has not only increased the number of low and no-calorie beverages that they produce, but also decreased calories consumed per serving by 22%, and decreased the number of calories consumed by school-aged children in school by 90%.
But perhaps most important is a move Coca-Cola has already made: the decision to add the calorie counts to the front of their bottles and cans, to make it even easier for consumers to make informed decisions.
Coca-Cola spokesman Ben Scheidler said in an e-mail that “2013 is going to be a landmark year in terms of expanding partnerships and efforts to educate consumers about energy balance.”
Dahlen, et al.(2010) states that it is important to visualise the contexts within which marketing communications strategy is set in order to provide a realistic impression of which audiences must be targeted, and what objectives and strategy are required to bring about effective communications.
Campaign insight has four context analysis:
- Customer context:
Includes attitudes, motivations, perceptions and behaviour; involvement level and potential risk
- Business (Global) context:
It is all about core values, attitudes and company culture in general.
- Internal context:
Employees, management and staff are the key target audience for communications and have to deliver he brand promise expressed in any marketing campaigns. It includes attitudes, core values and company cultural backgrounds.
- External context:
External context includes intermediaries, media, societal influences and conditions.
Segmentation and Targeting
According to Dahlen (2010) in marketing, market ‘potential’ can often be segmented by using various demarcation criteria: demographics, socio-geographics, psychographics and so on. The Coming Together campaign was mostly designed for middle-income young people aged 12 to 25 (demographic and psychographic consumer markets). At this year stage people are more likely to suffer from obesity illness and are more dependent on different brands. The Coming Together commercial shows a wide range of faces of various ages, races, and genders e.g. children, parents, physicians, and even business professionals. This campaign, and Coca Cola Corporation in general, also covers around 200 countries all over the world which describes geographic segment.
Targeting of specific segments of a market helps reduce the wastage of resources associated with mass marketing and is likely to increase sales as it is the potentially better customers who are focused upon. (Egan, 2007) Targeting is a variety of profitable segments and a decision on how these clients can be reached.
Offers, message, creative
To support the campaign, Coca-Cola created a website, http://www.comingtogether.com, providing further details of the worldwide program and a 60-second version of its Coming Together commercial video, a two minutes video is released early this year. “Work It Out Calculator” helps to balance the calories in your favourite Coca-Cola drink by doing popular exercises, pastimes and household tasks. Also, “BMI Calculator” helps to identify if person is in a healthy weight range, underweight, overweight or obese. They also supporting vital physical activity programs like America is Your Park, Triple Play and many others. In addition, Coke industry is now implementing the Calories Count™ Vending Program and their Foundation will expand the Coca-Cola Troops for Fitnessprogram to big cities across the country in 2013. They always associated themselves with healthy activities.
Budgeting & selecting the digital media mix
The setting of marketing communications budgets is always a source of debate in organisations, and exposes differing perspectives on whether marketing communications is a cost or an investment, and on whether there is cause-and-effect input/output objectivity to its deployment. (Dahlen, 2010) Unfortunately, Coca-Cola cannot publicly provide the exact budget list for any campaign they launch in each country, region or how much they spend on advertising, radio, print, television advertising and other media. The total worldwide amount per 2006 year was approximately $2.6 billion (source: http://www.coca-colacompany.com)
Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Digital marketing and its associated channels such as web, social media, mobile, direct mail, etc. are important in order to deepen the organisation’s insight into customer behaviour and preferences. For example, Coke website provide the idea of sharing photos or video with personal stories of customers; this includes fitness initiatives or a good start of a balanced life.
Integration into overall media schedule or plan
Pickton and Broderick suggest 4Cs of Integrated Marketing Communications:
- Coherence: all information should have logical connections via different channels.
Coca Cola Coming Together campaign focused on delivering the same message all across different countries by using social networks and other online applications. It helped to raise interest amongst customers by giving them opportunity to share information and experience, in other words, Coca Cola let their customers to have a dialogue between each other.
- Consistency: reinforce not contradict, sending the same message to the audience.
Coming Together campaign had the same message for everyone: being health, active and do sports exercises.
- Continuity: every channel needs to be connected/consisted over time.
Coca Cola always updated their website based on upcoming information from their customers.
- Complementary: synergistic, being able to combine communication efforts together.
All the information, messages and promotions helped Coming Together campaign’s target audience to fight with obesity and have a healthy and balanced lifestyle,
Different approaches between the UK and the US
The first anti-obesity ad was released on 17th January 2013 in U.S.A. This version, which uses the same images as the original but absolutely different voiceover, lists the serious health risks of diet sodas, including kidney problems, obesity and much more. Then, it just gets even more depressing. “Imagine if cigarette companies said they were doing something responsible to protect you.” The last line brings it home, with absolutely no sugar coating. “Don’t drink Coke. It is killing you and your family.” By now, it has collected over 475,000 views.
According to AdAge magazine (2013), the United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority banned Coca-Cola ad for misleading exercise claims as consumers were confused about what it takes to burn the 139 calories in a can. In response to that, Coca-Cola launched a “Be OK” ad which clearly shows that by doing extra physical exercises and have fun, it is possible to burn 139 calories. (The U.S. version uses 140 calories, instead of 139.)