It’s back to basics for Coca-Cola, which announced its decision to swap the seven-year-old “Open Happiness” campaign with the new tagline:
“Taste the feeling.”
The marketing effort will focus on what Cola-Cola does best—tell stories—and it indulges an effort to return to the brand’s core values of nostalgia and
Rebranding (especially for a massive company on a global scale) can be a challenge. To make the shift less daunting, consider three concepts:
1. Find a brand ambassador.
The message behind “Taste the Feeling” reminds cola drinkers that Coke is still their brand.
Brand managers are smart to use customers to deliver that message. Rather than singling out one or two key figures to act as Coke ambassadors, brand
managers are thinking bigger. By introducing the #TastetheFeeling hashtag, Coke hopes to unify customers worldwide, emphasizing individual experiences with
calls it a customizable approach:
“Taste the Feeling” [is] a separate online campaign made up of GIF scenes has been created in a bid to boost viral shareability and allows users to pull a
GIF scene directly from a microsite.
They [consumers] can then personalize the scene with real-time feelings and share it on social media under the #TasteTheFeeling hashtag.
For many brand managers, the scale for choosing a brand ambassador is much smaller. Although the tools you use might be the same as Coke’s (Twitter and
Facebook), a more realistic approach would be to find one person or a small group who are actively engaging with your brand.
Consider their identities, and ask whether there are enough similarities to build a relationship that you can use to boost your brand’s online presence.
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Making your entire customer base into a small army of brand ambassadors might not be realistic for every organization, but it works for Coke. Start small
to avoid biting off more than you can chew—especially hashtag mishaps.
2. Emphasize the right words.
Using the word “global” when introducing a marketing campaign carries a lot of weight.
Coke’s marketing announcement touted its global chief marketing officer, Marco de Qunito, and his strategy is to unify all of Coke’s major products
(Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life) under a single, global campaign.
It’s the first time brand managers have launched a single marketing campaign for a global audience in more than a decade.
In doing so, you must distinguish the local from the global.
Well in advance of your campaign’s global launch, clarify what is driven globally versus what is managed locally, and balance your approach. Though it’s
great to dream big, your global marketing initiative will probably determine how your local marketing will work.
What might be appropriate and relevant for an audience in Paris might not match up to what’s best suited for a Chinese audience. Doing something as simple
as properly translating the wording of an advertisement will show the audience your brand’s effort to reach them in their own language and will probably
3. Keep it simple.
Coke will focus much of this campaign’s advertising on storytelling.
Often, it’s the goal of a brand’s story to offer a simple message to its audience. For Coke, it’s to bring back a sense of nostalgia that faded a bit in
its previous campaign, “Open Happiness.” For your brand, the goal might be to introduce something new. Whatever your goal, factor in the delivery.
The message Coke is offering is simple—it’s tasty. Additionally, it wants to put the brand back in the center of the lives of those who experience it.
Hence, “Taste the experience.”
Coke’s de Qunito said this on the importance of keeping your marketing approach simple during a recent interview with Advertising Age:
When we start over-intellectualizing ... we started unconsciously creating distance with the people. We are lagging certain things. People who today are 14
or 16 have not heard about most of the product benefits. Coke is "something that tastes really good.”
Don’t dumb your message down in order to simplify it; instead, focus on a key takeaway for your audience and home in on it.
Chewing gum brand Extra saw great success from its recent
aimed at telling a “sweet, romantic tale.” Because Extra chose a simple theme like romance, a larger audience was able to grasp the message.
Telling a simple story often resonates with more people, because it’s easier to consume. Translate it across multiple audiences, and don’t be afraid to
take a less intellectual approach to your message to reach more people.