SBD/May 31, 2013/Events and Attractions

Intersport Activation Summit: Coke's McCune Explores Reaching Youth Worldwide

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McCune said Coke did not recruit as many teens during the Olympics as it hoped
Coca-Cola VP/Global Partnerships & Experiential Marketing Scott McCune was a featured interview Thursday at the ‘13 Intersport Activation Summit, where he discussed how the soda giant leverages its global partnerships in some 200 countries around the world. He specifically outlined Coke’s “Move to the Beat” campaign created for the '12 London Games.

GAME ON: Coke began its London Games marketing in ‘07 and created its “Move to the Beat” campaign as an effort to attract a younger demographic of Coke drinkers. McCune said, “The debate was whether teenagers are really engaged in the Olympic Games. There was a challenge there. How do we create branding content experiences that are so compelling that consumers are sharing it and buying it?” Coke relied heavily on music to drive brand interest around the Olympics, creating some 60 pieces of content around its campaign, including a 30-minute Beat TV show that aired every night of the Olympics. The company also created concerts tied to the torch relay. He said, “We found that (teenagers) were more interested in the social side than what was happening on the track. As opposed to just a TV commercial, we created a concert.” Coke also partnered with Live Nation for a concert in London held the day before the opening ceremonies. But tying the campaign to the 100 countries that activated around the company’s Olympic marketing program was key to driving sales. McCune: “It only works from a scalable standpoint if we can network it together. Not in a silo, but in that they are totally networked together. It boils down to local market activation.”

YOUTH MOVEMENT: So how successful was Coke’s Olympic campaign in drawing a younger group of Coke drinkers? McCune said, “We didn’t recruit the teenagers as much as we had hoped to. A lot of the volume we had did not come from teenagers. They are not following the Olympics like their parents’ generation.” But McCune sees a better outcome in attracting a younger audience as it activates around the FIFA World Cup in ‘14. He said, “The biggest difference is consumer passion.” McCune added that “outside the U.S., soccer ranks only behind music in consumer passion.” He said, “The No. 2 passion is (soccer). The No. 3 passion is (soccer) and the No. 4 passion is (soccer).”
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