Coke to use World Cup marketing to get consumers more active

Coca-Cola is using its marketing to activate the brand’s sponsorship of the 2014 Brazil World Cup to encourage consumers to live more active lifestyles.

Coke to use World Cup marketing to get consumers more active

The soft drinks giant kicked off its UK World Cup marketing activity this week with the third “trophy tour”, bringing the coveted Jules Rimet prize to the region alongside brand ambassador and in-form Liverpool FC striker Daniel Sturridge, who attended a press event yesterday (13 March).

The trophy tour will last for 221 days and will visit every country that has ever won the World Cup, giving people a chance to have their photo taken with the prize. Coca-Cola will also distribute 1 million samples throughout the tour plus branded footballs to encourage people to play the sport.

In 2012 Coca-Cola joined other major food and drinks brands such as Kellogg and Danone in signing up to the UK Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal. By signing up, Coke committed to nine pledges to encourage people in the UK to live more healthy lifestyles including using its local marketing presence to encourage people to take part in more physical activity.

Brid Drohan-Stewart, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland marketing activation director, told Marketing Week that by tapping into the “passion point” of football, the brand hopes to get people in the region more active.

She added: “The trophy tour gives us the opportunity to encourage people to get an active lifestyle as part of their every day life…we have committed to putting a number of footballs out there to facilitate people to get out and kick footballs during the campaign and tap into the excitement of this one in every four year opportunity.”

Drohan-Stewart admitted that on previous trophy tours, Coca-Cola had not always been there to continue the conversation with consumers after they had seen the trophy, but added that the brand has “learnt a lot” from campaigns such as last summer’s Share a Coke activity about becoming more responsive.

“Share a Coke is a great example of how we engage with consumers in what we describe as a real liquid and linked way…as a global sponsor for the World Cup we have full rights to be there front and foremost [ahead of non-sponsors such as Pepsi which are also readying football-related campaigns this summer] and nowadays you have to be more agile in terms of responsiveness.

“What we will try do to is give ourselves the opportunity to capture that moment in terms of resource and the ability to get ready for agility. We need to get that balance between real agility and planned agility and be there at a time when the brand is most relevant to consumers,” she said.

Coke is considering setting up a “mission control” hub with screens detailing live online conversations about the brand and its competitors in real-time inside one of its European offices, similar to brands such as Unilever, Gatorade and Adidas, in order to achieve this.

Drohan-Stewart said: “There are some great examples around the world of monitoring and listening and we would look potentially to create one of those types of things in Europe. It’s about being agile and being able to listen and respond as quickly as a global brand can in this day and age and be able to not only monitor those conversations but be part of them on a daily and hourly basis.”

A fully-integrated World Cup advertising campaign will launch in May. Last month Coke announced it was crowdsourcing consumers to feature in its global World Cup music video for the track “The World is Ours”, sung by US X-Factor finalist David Correy. 


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With 100 days to go to the World Cup kick-off, you’d hope that most brands have their marketing strategy nailed on by now. No doubt, though, that the next few months will be buzzing with opportunity. For the players, social media may well be in lock-down but for brands it is surely set to be […]


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