Coca-Cola is an enormous brand with a value of 69.73 billion US dollars (Statista, 2018b). In the US, an average person drinks approximately 275 cans of coke per year which proves that the company has already ‘’attained’’ most of the people in the US (Stocker, 2015). Therefore, it is naturally to shift the marketing focus from short term sales towards a more long-term customer connection. Coca-Cola showed with their ‘’Share a Coke’’ campaign that loyalty among customers can be achieved by focusing on emotions. In this campaign, the logos on the cola cans were replaced by popular names among young people (Moye, 2014). Basically, Coca-Cola was inviting buyers to take a part in a massive social marketing experience. On the long-run, this campaign turned out to be a huge success with almost 345,000 posts on Instagram with the Shareacoke hashtag. After a couple years of silence, Coca-Cola made its come back last summer.
The competition between Pepsi and Coca-Cola is an ongoing and endless battle, but the latter made an attempt to be the number one in the holy Ramadan month of 2017. Coca-Cola Egypt has studied the process of persuasion in which a very well-trained team helps employees to get the vacation they want (ThinkMarketing, 2017). The first thing was learning to build solid arguments, followed by understanding the personality of the concerning manager. The company itself made it clear that anyone could be convinced.
The campaign went as following: the campaign encouraged individuals to contact Coca-Cola and describe the manager’s characteristics. This could be done by sending a private message and using the hashtag “#الأجيزة” with the name of the manager (Imfnd, 2017). After analyzing the characteristics of the manager, Coca-Cola’s well-trained team constructed arguments which are convincing enough for the specific manager. However, the arguments are not the only crucial part of the convincing process. The delivery of the arguments also counts. This differs per person, since every person is sensitive for different things. After the team had constructed the solid arguments and found a way to deliver it, Coca-Cola sent the employee a video to convince the manager in giving him/her a vacation (ThinksMarketing, 2017).
The timing of the ad was perfect, since it was broadcasted two weeks before the annual vacation of Eid. Next, the team was chosen well since the members varied in both skills and appearance. Furthermore, Coca-Cola made a smart choice by reintroducing a hashtag campaign. The main reason is because the number of social media users saw an increase between 2014 and 2017 from 1.91 billion to 2.46 billion (Statista, 2018a). However, the campaign was not a success. The ad had received approximately 1.6 million views in the 19 days it was broadcasted. This is impressive for an average brand, but certainly not for a heavy weightier as Coca-Cola. For example, Pepsi had received almost 1.9 million views in 7 days in the same period. The question remains, why was the campaign not successful?
There may be several reasons. Firstly, the campaigns served as a reaction to the losing classic soft drink battle between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Pepsi has already managed to take over of almost 55% of the total viewership between the two and additionally 62% of the engagement (InsightHub, 2017). Thus, to fight back against the superior campaign ad of Pepsi, Coca-Cola released the discussed campaign. Coca-Cola switched from its original campaign towards the Ramadan campaign. Thus, the latter was basically a plan B. This indicates that there is a chance that due to lack of time, Coca Cola wasn’t able to prepare the campaign well.
Another reason may be because of privacy issues. Coca-Cola was only able to help if the description was detailed enough. This demands a lot of personal information from both the employee and manager. There is a good chance that employees were scared to be caught by managers and scared for the inherent consequences, like losing the job or make the relationship with the manager worse. Getting caught was a possible outcome since the whole foundation of the campaign was based on social media.
Concluding, the Ramadan 2017 campaign of Coca-Cola Egypt was not a success. Still, this was not a complete disaster. Coca-Cola, again, switched from focusing solely on acquiring as many new customers as possible, to engaging with its customers. Continuously engaging with customers is a crucial point here. Thus, even Coca-Cola has lost this battle; it still serves as a perfect example for many other companies.
Imfnd, (2017). Coke Comeback: How Coca-Cola Use “Customer Participation” in a community campaign – imfnd. [online]
InsightsHub. (2017). Soft Drinks | Ramadan Insights Hub. [online] Available at: https://ramadan.thinkmarketingmagazine.com/brands/soft-drinks-ramadan-2017-campaigns/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].
Moye, J., (2014). Share a Coke: How the Groundbreaking Campaign Got Its Start ‘Down Under’. [online] The Coca-Cola Company. Available at: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/share-a-coke-how-the-groundbreaking-campaign-got-its-start-down-under [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].
Statista (2018a). Number of social media users worldwide 2010-2021 | Statista. [online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].
Statista (2018b). Topic: Coca-Cola Company. [online] http://www.statista.com. Available at: https://www.statista.com/topics/1392/coca-cola-company/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2018].
Stocker, M. (2015). How Coca-Cola, Yoplait Use Customer Participation – Marketo. [online] Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
ThinkMarketing (2017). How to ask for a vacation? Coca Cola super convincing team got the answer! | Think Marketing. [online] Think Marketing.