Coke at Cannes: ‘The best content isn’t planned for’

Coca-Cola’s head of music and entertainment marketing talks content.

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Speaking on a panel about ‘creativity in context’ at Spotify House in Cannes, Coca-Cola’s head of music and entertainment marketing, Emmanuel Seuge told the crowd that although the brand is aiming for a balance between creativity and data, the best content is unplanned.

In an industry where brands are aware of what consumers are doing and how they are feeling, through the use of data and analytics, a key questions for delegates at the festival of creativity is how this affects the approach to being creative.

For Coca-Cola, although ‘the science’ of using data allows the brand to predict consumer behaviours and decide which content to create for them “sometimes the best content is the content that you would create that was not planned for”, according to Seuge.

This not only has changed the way the big corporation is structured but the way it wants to operate in the future. Seuge said: “The challenge is how do we have a larger organisation behave like a two-people start-up. It requires speed and the ability to make decision without the fear of failing.”

To bring more breadth and scale into how the brand thinks about start ups and technology and how this feeds into its mainstream campaigns, and respond to how content is evolving, Coca-Cola reorganised its teams a few months ago. It has combined teams that were separate under the ‘umbrella of content’, including the creative, entertainment, tech team.

Suege said: “Bringing the world of tech and entrepreneurs and the world of entertainment and content creators together provokes the the right level of collision between these worlds, in a healthy way.”

Coca-Cola was joined on the panel by Spotify’s head of consumer product, and former YouTube product director, Shiva Rajaraman.

Spotify has recently been focused on a redesign of the experience and announced a suite of music features on mobile in a mission to be more contextual, including Spotify Running, which matches music based on the tempo of the runner, and partnerships with Nike+ and the app that records running data, RunKeeper.

Spotify will also be integrating video clips and audio shows, using data to suggest what consumers would want to watch and what podcasts to listen to.

However, Rajaraman said the streaming service can’t be too data focused and has to allow for ‘discovery’ because “it’s dangerous to allow a machine to do everything”.

He said: “I don’t think context alone is a great thing. One of the key things with Spotify is when you can fall in love with a new artist or song so we have to find ways of injecting serendipity into everything we do.”

Similarly to Coca-Cola, the seven-year-old brand is looking to create content moment-by-moment to see what it can do for running, partying and even sleeping – as according to Spotify there are nine flavours of white noise that people have affinity towards.

“We are trying to be more fluid with these bets and try a bunch of experiments and see what sticks,” said Rajaraman.

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