Coke taps Tyler, the Creator, for dance-focused Zero Sugar campaign

Dive Brief:

  • Coca-Cola this week launched an omnichannel campaign in Europe that precedes the rollout of a new formula for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The beverage maker’s “Open That Coca-Cola” campaign includes a 30-second TV commercial showing people dancing to an original song by musician Tyler, the Creator, per an announcement.
  • The “Open That Coca-Cola” campaign includes TV, online video, radio and out-of-home ads, along with an in-store shopper activation. Coke also is asking people to share their versions of the “Open That Coca-Cola” dance from the 30-second spot via a digital and social media push it refers to as “ambitious.”
  • The campaign sees Coke tapping into interest in self-expression through dance-focused digital content by showcasing nonverbal expressions of how Coca-Cola Zero Sugar tastes. Coke this year will distribute the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar with refreshed packaging throughout Europe. The company worked with agency Wieden+Kennedy London on the TV commercial, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Coca-Cola aims to reach a younger audience with its “Open That Coca-Cola” campaign that includes a social media activation around music and dancing to encourage consumer participation. Per the brand, the campaign is meant to express through nonverbal means what the first sip of a Coke feels like.

Dance challenges have become a more common part of campaigns in the past couple of years, especially after social video app TikTok surged in popularity among Generation Z by offering user-friendly software to gain viral popularity with self-made music videos. The lively “Open That Coca-Cola” commercial includes an original dance and soundtrack by well-known musician Tyler, the Creator to encourage social sharing.

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Coke’s new campaign comes as the company seeks to revive growth after the pandemic adversely affected sales in out-of-home settings like restaurants, bars and sports stadiums. In discussing the company’s plans for 2021, CFO John Murphy said Coke was working on targeted experiential campaigns that were data-driven, occasion-based and always-on. He cited the forthcoming first-ever global campaign for lemon-lime soda Sprite, called “Let’s Be Clear,” as an example of this approach. The Coca-Cola Zero Sugar adopts a similar always-on approach by leveraging social media.

Coke in December started a global review of its media and creative planning and buying practices, including its agency appointments worldwide. The beverage maker seeks to improve effectiveness and efficiency of spending on media, creative, production management, shopper and experiential marketing as part of a digital transformation. Coke currently works with agencies Wieden+Kennedy, Anomaly, McCann and Interpublic’s UM, which has held the company’s North American media account since 2015, along with about 4,000 other agency partners. Its hybrid model includes agency partners and its in-house creative agency KO:OP, which may have a bigger role its marketing operations.

That shift is consistent with a broader in-housing trend that accelerated during pandemic amid more demand for digital content. Coke focused on real-time content production and streaming to reach younger consumers when it restarted marketing efforts after a pandemic-related pause.

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