A Coke by any name ….

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani | Updated on January 19, 2018



… is still a Coke, after all. Coca-Cola hopes to leverage this logic for its ‘many products, one-brand’ strategy

From following the journey of a couple’s romance, break-up and reconciliation to capturing the emotions of love and conflict between two brothers, beverage major Coca-Cola’s new global campaign is anchored on themes of universal storytelling which, it is hoping, consumers across the globe will relate to. “One-Brand Strategy” is all about a global creative campaign that unites and features all the brands — Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Diet/Coca-Cola Light, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life. As part of this strategic move, the campaign with the tagline, “Taste the Feeling” is replacing the current marketing campaign, “Open Happiness,” across the globe.

The main idea driving this strategy is focusing on “one brand” with several variants, instead of treating them as multiple brands with multiple personalities, as Marcos de Quinto, Chief Marketing Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, explained at a select media round table meet last week.

The core four

In February 2015, Coca-Cola Company selected 10 agencies which had worked with the company across geographies. These agencies, which represented all the key regions, were asked to work on a brief and the company narrowed the list down to four agencies. Over the past nine months, pilots of the campaign were run in as many as 15 countries to seek reactions from a diverse consumer base.

These four agencies — Mercado-McCann, Santo, Sra Rushmore and Ogilvy & Mather — have created an initial round of 10 TV commercials, and other elements of the campaign to be used across platforms. These TVCs and publicity material will be used across markets.

Speaking at the meet, Quinto said, “The key thinking behind this campaign is that Coca-Cola as a brand is a much bigger idea than all these variants … This is a strategic change we are bringing that focuses on Coca-Cola as just one brand and not multiple brands fighting with each other. It is to strengthen the Coca-Cola brand by extending its global equity across Coca-Cola trademark products and accelerate future growth.”

He said that managing Coca-Cola with many sub-brands was hurting the idea of Coca-Cola as a “mega-brand.” “We cannot have different brothers fighting each other when they all belong to the same brand.”

“Our objective is to communicate the One Brand Coca-Cola marketing strategy through a global integrated campaign using simple and powerful storytelling that celebrates the integration of product benefits and brand values,” he added.

Breaking brand barriers

But bringing together in one campaign these sub-brands, which appeal to a diverse target audience, is also a bold move by the company. For instance, Diet Coke is known to enjoy higher appeal among women while Coke Zero seems to have a more loyal consumer base among younger men.

However, Quinto pointed out that the campaign is, in fact, all about breaking these “brand barriers” and enabling access to the lower calorie variants.

The fundamental brand promise that Coca-Cola is for everyone across ages, gender and income group was being undermined by creation of multiple personalities for the lower calorie versions of the brand, he said.

But will it work in a market like India where consumers are still getting introduced to the zero or lower calorie variants? Quinto believes what the company is doing with the One Brand marketing strategy is pushing the notion of choice and educating the consumers about the low-sugar or zero-sugar variants of the flagship brand, Coca-Cola.

The One Brand campaign is set to hit digital and TV screens in India this week. A lead television spot, ‘Anthem’ will run in all markets this year, even as regional marketing teams will be allowed to pick and choose the most relevant television spots and visuals for their markets.

It also features over 100 images that have been shot with an “Instagram approach,” which is being used in print, out-of-home, digital media and in-store advertising. The company is also trying to woo the tech-savvy youth, with shareable and customisable GIF scenes focusing on intimate emotions and featuring the “Taste the Feeling” anthem.


Debabrata Mukherjee Vice-President, Marketing & Commercial, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, told the round-table, “The campaign looks at unifying themes in the world and has created a bouquet of work that can be applied to all geographies. We are bullish about the campaign. I believe this is a wide body of work which is relevant and scalable in India and has the potential to step-change brand Coca-Cola in India.”

The company believes Brand Coca-Cola will lead the sparkling beverages category growth in India and the company will be using the campaign across multiple platforms to connect with consumers, he added.

The writer was in Hong Kong at the invitation of Coca-Cola India

Published on February 04, 2016

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