In 1892, a sweetened soft drink was invented. A century later, it becomes the number-one-selling beverage in the world. From its humble beginnings in Atlanta as a tonic for ailments, it evolves into the voice of every generation.
That is the story of the Coca-Cola company in a nutshell. A cultural institution not just in America but in over 200 countries, the brand has seen it all — fierce competition, economic recessions, technological advancements and even wars. Yet, it continues to stand tall like a colossal monument that is untouched by time.
Today, the world drinks more than 1.9 billion cokes a day. What is the secret behind this highly successful mega brand? A succession of powerful and versatile marketing strategies that have dazzled the world into buying more bottles. In fact, many universities and marketing courses find Coca-Cola to be the perfect example of a digital marketing case study.
The brains behind that company have reinvented the brand several times now. They manage to stay relevant, trendy and youthful. Not bad for a company that is over 130 years old!
They have captured a large audience of Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials.
And now, in the times of social media and instant gratification, Coca-Cola continues to forge ahead, winning over Generation Z. They have seamlessly merged their digital and traditional marketing plans. They tap into the mindset of the people seamlessly. The company adapts to changing trends and wows people with witty, thoughtful and eye-catching digital marketing campaigns.
Let’s delve into the marketing case study of Coca-Cola to discover some of its incredible ideas and insightful campaigns.
4 Times Coca-Cola Became A Perfect Digital Marketing Case Study
Digital marketing case study #1 Coke happiness machine
The happiness machine was a killer interactive campaign that saw Coca-Cola win over audiences in several countries. The plan was simple yet inventive. In 2009, they set up Coke vending machines in select places such as college campuses. However, these machines were not ordinary. People had to interact with them to get their Coke drink or even win special prizes.
In Singapore, students hugged the machine to get their prize. Koreans danced for their Cokes, while Swedish students found themselves singing Christmas carols. It was silly yet effective. What makes this campaign such a brilliant digital marketing case study?
All participants were recorded, and videos were uploaded to social media platforms such as youtube and Facebook. These videos went viral immediately. Millions of hits, clicks, views and shares were registered. Everyone was talking about Coca-Cola’s videos. It was a masterstroke from the company that caught global attention.
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Digital marketing case study #2 Share a Coke
Would you like to see your name printed on a Coca-Cola bottle? Who wouldn’t? This was another visionary idea by the company’s marketing geniuses. In 2011, they printed common first names on the bottles, along with titles like mom, dad, sis, bestie, etc. The campaign started in Australia and New Zealand and soon spread to other countries. It was an instant hit. Throngs of people visited different vending machines and supermarkets to find a bottle with their name on it. Others would buy bottles for friends and family members. This campaign went digital as well. You could send a virtual bottle to anyone through social media outlets like Facebook. People put up photos of the bottles with their names on them with the hashtag #shareacoke. They could also suggest more names to print on the bottle on Coca-Cola’s online pages. In 2014, there were over 125,000 social media references to the award-winning campaign in June and July. ‘Share a Coke’ also started trending on the Google search engine. It led to a massive spike of over 800 per cent hits on Coca-Cola’s Facebook page. This was the perfect example of offline and online marketing working seamlessly together, making it a much-talked-about digital marketing case study.
Digital marketing case study #3 London Olympics
Back in 2012, the Coca-Cola company was determined to be in the spotlight during the London Olympics. There was a lot of competition among brands to be visible in a very crowded advertising space. Coca-Cola launched the ‘Move to the beat’ campaign, which had a music video featuring five aspiring Olympians from various fields. Here’s why this is a brilliant digital marketing case study. The campaign was distributed through a documentary, TV ads and several online apps. The video’s popularity spread like wildfire. There were more than 25 million video views across desktop and mobile. Coke became a highly visible and talked-about brand during the Olympics. Over one and a half million people subscribed to the company’s Facebook page, and the Twitter handle got more than 20,000 new followers. Millions of web impressions added to the massive amount of attention generated.
Digital marketing case study #4 Super Bowl 2012
In America, Super Bowl commercials are a widely viewed event known for setting high standards for creativity and innovation. Coca-Cola rose to the challenge. They launched an ad with two polar bears supporting different football teams. The bears would react to the football game as it happened. Viewers could put up questions for the bears and then post photos or videos of the answers on social media. The bears would engage in real-time, pulling out their phones to reply. It was a clever campaign, making it an outstanding digital marketing case study. All of the events with the bears were streamed on Coke’s website, multiple social media channels and even ad banners on TV. During the Super Bowl game, over 600,000 viewers watched the live footage of the polar bears. While 9 million people clicked on the videos across all digital platforms.
How To Learn From Coca-Cola’s Digital Marketing Case Studies
If you want to recreate Coke’s successful strategies, here’s how you can start:
- Get your big idea in place
Before you start rolling out your campaign, you need a clear, strong idea first. It has to fit in with your brand’s personality, appeal to your target audience and work across all digital marketing platforms. Once the idea is in place, you can start working on different mediums and outlets. In Coke’s digital marketing case study, we can see the big ideas were ‘Share a Coke’ and ‘Coke Happiness Machine’. Once you crack the concept, you can move on to creating a multi-faceted digital campaign.
- Form a plan of action
Your campaign needs a chain of events to unfold that maximises the impact. While you may not have Coke’s marketing budget, you can still work with what you have. Create a step-by-step plan. Chalk out the various execution techniques and strategies. Ensure you have backups and enough room for modifications if needed. If you look at Coca-Cola’s digital marketing case study, they started the Happiness Machine campaign in Australia, and then slowly launched it in other countries. They used the internet to spread awareness, so other nations were eager to participate. They also used social media effectively to generate interest. Ensure you have a mix of online channels and platforms as a part of your marketing plan.
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- Create the campaign products
Whether you create one commercial or a series of videos, put in the time and effort to see your idea come to life. If you want your campaign to go viral like in Coke’s digital marketing case study, you need a high-quality product that is unique and pathbreaking, no matter the budget limitations.
- Be innovative
Coca-Cola’s digital marketing case studies showed us how the company used social media to its fullest potential. You need to find a way to be a part of the online conversation. Whether in the form of posts or retweets or shares. This is a very important part of the digital marketing process and helps your product go viral quickly.
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More features of the course:
- The PGCM is a one-year program
- The curriculum is designed as a perfect blend of industry knowledge and practical application
- Students learn by working with real-life digital marketing case studies
- There are coaching centres available in most major cities in India
- You can also opt for online classes
- The subjects include business statistics, SEO, SEM, data analysis in Excel, marketing management, etc.
- The course teaches through platforms such as Google Analytics, LinkTree and Facebook Ads
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Coca-Cola has managed to stay relevant through carefully orchestrated and skilfully designed campaigns that appeal to its target audience. The company is on its way to becoming a 100 billion-dollar brand, and it is clear that digital marketing will play a tremendous role in its future success. Hopefully, you feel inspired by Coke’s iconic digital marketing case studies and are motivated to create your own strategies that will make a similar impact.