Coca-Cola's Scott McCune on leveraging global partnerships

David Durochik
McCune: “It boils down to local market activation.”
Scott McCune, vice president of global partnerships and experiential marketing for Coca-Cola, gave a featured presentation at the SBJ/SBD 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 2012 London Olympic Games.

Coke began its London Games marketing in 2007 and created its “Move To The Beat” campaign as an effort to attract a younger demographic of Coke drinkers. “The debate was whether teenagers are really engaged in the Olympic Games,” McCune said. “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 aired every night of the Olympics. The company also created concerts tied to the torch relay.“We found that [teenagers] were more interested in the social side than what was happening on the track,” McCune said. “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. “It only works from a scalable standpoint if we can network it together,” McCune said. “Not in a silo, but in that they are totally networked together. It boils down to local market activation.”

So how successful was Coke’s Olympic campaign in drawing a younger group of Coke drinkers? “We didn’t recruit the teenagers as much as we had hoped to,” McCune said. “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 2014. “The biggest difference is consumer passion,” McCune said, adding that outside the U.S., soccer ranks only behind music in consumer passion. “The number two passion is [soccer]. The number three passion is [soccer] and the number four passion is [soccer].”
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Coca-Cola, Olympics

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