Big wheel of marketing activity by leading beverage brands

Author: Karen Willows
London Eye ferris wheel at river during dusk

Big wheel of marketing activity by leading beverage brands

Creative marketing tactics focus on fun consumer interaction

With the announcement that Coca-Cola will be the new sponsor of the London Eye in 2015, we took a look at what beverage manufacturers are doing to boost their sales in this very competitive industry.

Creativity, innovation, and technology all feature heavily in the minds of the marketers at the big global brands, so we focused on what’s hot (or seemingly cool) right now around the world.

Innovative brand-sharing

Pepsi has definitely led the way in the innovation stakes. During the Belgian leg of Beyoncé’s world tour, Pepsi created a vending machine that allowed customers to receive a can of Pepsi in exchange for liking its Facebook page. Using touchscreen technology, fans could link their mobile phones to the machine, follow the instruction, and receive a free can of Pepsi or Pepsi Max. This inventive approach has not only allowed people to sample the product, but provided potential further opportunity to interact with fans at a later date.

Pepsi has also sponsored “The X-Factor” reality television show and has created in-store promotions based on the show’s centerstage.

Personalized, reusable packaging and product promotion

In all corners of the globe, the last six months has seen a scramble of customers trying to find their name on personalized bottles of Coca-Cola. The “Share a Coke” campaign is a simple execution of personalized labels backed up with a host of media: billboards, POS displays, and a flurry of activity on social media. Cleverly, it has engaged with customers in a meaningful way and created an interactive experience for the shopper. Seemingly, this tactic has meant that Coca-Cola has been able to keep a premium pricing strategy during a time where value for money has been at the forefront of the customer’s mind, giving shoppers a reason to pay more.

While we’re all now very aware of waste and recycling, Coca-Cola has recently launched an awesome video showing alternative uses for a bottle of Coke in South Korea. This fun short film not only captures your imagination but also gives you a real essence of family life and community.

Although it hasn’t yet been launched in every country just yet, Coca-Cola has recently released the new drink, Coke Life – marketed as a lower calorie drink. This has been launched with a heavy in-store presence and a worldwide campaign involving print, experiential POS, digital, and outdoor adverts. Although sales are reported to have started lower than predicted due to a limited release, the new drink is now out-selling Coke Zero.

Meanwhile in France, to mark the release of new mobile phone game,  “Just Dance Now”, Coca-Cola organized a large scale dance event to the new Coca-Cola song, “Find Your Move”, with the famous French dancers, Les Twins. This video was released on all the major video channels and promoted heavily on social media.

Social sharing

Orangina does things slightly different. Heavily promoted in France as a “holiday drink”, Orangina encouraged customers to post photos on Facebook of themselves posing with the drink. They have also created a series of rather random, yet fun, images of bears in underpants which have been displayed on billboards.

Orangina also created an “anti-World-Cup” campaign for those who wanted to get away from the football craze. A remote control hidden in a fake can of Orangina was created so that the unsuspected could turn off the TV. This fun novelty seemed to be well received on social media channels where Orangina created a buzz around it and encouraged customers to post photos.

Cultural and fashionable messaging

In complete contrast, Red Bull continues to put their products aside. All their marketing activity is centered around the things that are important to their core customers: sports, culture, and adventurous lifestyles. Its media company, Red Bull Media House, is constantly releasing new short films for TV and web, including film screenings of extreme sports, for example Red Bull Cliff Diving, and also a weekly magazine program of extreme sports. With 3.7 million subscribers to its YouTube channel, their aim is clearly to engage with customers through relevant content, rather than through offers and product promotions.

Danone, in their efforts to make Evian water seem more interesting, collaborated with Paris fashion house Kenzo to create some funky bottle designs. This bright, eye-catching packaging definitely stood out on the shelf.