Coke 'learned power of context' from Oreo Super Bowl ad

Coke 'learned power of context' from Oreo Super Bowl ad
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Coke’s global content director has admitted they “learned lessons” from Oreo’s success in hijacking Super Bowl advertising with a tactical Twitter ad.

Neil Bedwell also flagged more partnerships in the coming year and said the brand would work to “hero” more of its customers in its content, flagging the Australian Share a Coke campaign as a good example.

Oreo earned more than 15,000 retweets when it put a simple ad on Twitter during a blackout in the game which read “Power out? Don’t worry you can still dunk in the dark”.

Bedwell, the global director of digital content and strategy, said while they had a marketing team working a large social media campaign during the game from the same agency as Oreo, they failed to “deviate from the script” unlike their rival.

"The power of contect has never been so beautifully illustrated t the Coca-Cola company," he added.

Talking at a session at the Adobe Summit conference he said context, which drove the success of the Oreos ad, was one of the things that “keep me up at night”.

He also drew comparisons with creativity and a brand’s commercial success, flagging the record of companies named Advertiser of the Year in Cannes and their commercial results.

Coke has landed that title this year, and while he would not say how much cash the company had made he said “the chairman is happy”.

In terms of the brand’s current marketing strategy he said it was based around telling stories and “spreading happiness”.

But, he admitted no brand could create the context for their customers every day, and instead had to rely on topical events, which is harder for the brand because much of the news which dominates the agenda is negative.

The company is also doing research into what motivates its fans to Like them on Facebook, as it looks to work out how it can address them more thoroughly, adding: “It’s a huge piece of work, and I think we’ll find people are here for many different reasons.”

Rather than create large websites, Coke is looking for a series of smaller engagement.

Bedwell said: “Building a big site is like saying ‘come to our party over here’. But if you think about how people engage with a bottle of Coke they don’t go to it they grab it and take it with them.

“There’s lots and lots of parties happening all around the world enabled by social behaviours and digital technologies.

“We need to find a way we can take Coke to those parties rather than them come to us.”

Flagging scale as another problem area, he said Coke is using a number of ‘small red buttons” rather than launch large-scale campaigns, to test them in different markets.

“We need to get it right before we press the big red button to end it live, because if we get it wrong, it goes wrong big,” he added.

Location is also a key, with people living in towns and neighbourhoods, adding “If you can get a location and attach it to content you get people with their friends thinking ‘where can I get a Coke?’”.

In terms of future work he said there would be two things “you will definitely see from Coca Cola in the next year”.

“You are going to see more stories, we are going to pull out more content, we are going to hero more people,” he said.

“We’re also going to have more partnerships. They are a fantastic way to tell our stories.” 

Alex Hayes is a guest of Adobe at the Summit Conference.

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