Omar Jamil, CEO Latitude blogs for Aurora from New Delhi
Day 2 – Session 1 – Marketing 3.0 – New Rules of Engagement
Joseph Tripoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
Anchor: Prasoon Joshi, Chairman & CEO, McCann Worldgroup Indi, ECD McCann Erickson, APAC Region and Chairperson, McCann Global Creative Council
Morning folks – this morning’s first session kicks off with a presentation from Tripoli. So far, Tripoli is giving background info on Coke as a company, it’s history and how it’s grown and the brand has developed over the years.
Tripoli says that as marketers need to be great storytellers, we need to be timeless (e.g. Coke logo – unchanged over the years), but need to be relevant – cant have ‘false cool’. Chasing teens? Yes, but also need to go for adults – 50-plus one of the most neglected lots in marketing. Memo to marketers: these guys have money. Genius is in marketing to both. Need to fight obesity, malnutrition – responsibility of large companies like Coke.
“Liquid and Linked” stories are shared and are social. Tripoli gives three examples of executions… So far interesting – presenting Coke as a case study for marketing 3.0. But more descriptions of what Coke has done and not that many concrete learnings… Started with the 2010 FIFA World Cup – described the campaign objectives, showed the adverts. Second example was the Coke polar bear ‘story’ – going back 90 years. Linked to heritage and history. The third example was the upcoming campaign for the 2012 London Olympics – moving to the ‘beat of the Olympics’ – working with Mark Ronson on a new song, working on experiential.
Again, all these examples cross global, mobile, ‘liquid and linked’ philosophy.
Tripoli concludes saying that to move forward companies like Coke will need to change. No more status quo.
Joshi comes on stage and asks the first question: where do you see brand creative going in terms of popular culture – brands have in the past ‘ridden’ popular culture, rather than create new popular culture. So how do you differentiate between ‘riding’ on popular culture and creating pop culture?
Tripoli: large companies are conservative by nature and don’t like taking risks. Coke strategy 70, 20, 10 – put 70% in safe campaigns, 20% to innovate and 10% to take risks. Gives example of Coke Studio.
When content to blatantly branded people step back, so how do you balance? Tripoli: social media is a great way to do that. Company used to be very nervous about it – gives example of Mentos dropped into Diet Coke where it exploded – and company went into panic mode. That’s changed. Gives example of Coke Facebook page which was started by two fans. Ultimately people control the brand.
Conversation turns to digital – Joshi says, “Digital a reflection of lifestyles.” People naturally want to celebrate together. Tripoli: digital is the great democratiser. However, still takes a long time for a brand to make connection on a local level.
Every company wants to do something social – at the same time, you see a lot of cynicism, must be some hidden motive, not for social good. How does one do CSR and deal with the cynicism. Tripoli: don’t let the hype get ahead of your reality. Much better to go out in a measured way. Nature of CSR changing; much more engaged, about working together – in partnership with government, civil society, NGOs. NGOs want to see firm commitments and progress towards that firm commitment. Be clear, be transparent.
Talking now about youth vs adult segments – how do you target both given the different languages and vocabularies? Great challenge… Tripoli thinks aging segments the key challenge for brands. Need to find opportunities to deliver functionality. Coke is still learning – and this is a challenge for most large FMCGs.
Talk moves to spirituality, and if Eastern culture has influenced Tripoli as a marketer. Tripoli responds that he’s constantly inspired by many facets, by entrepreneurship, melting pot of cultures etc. All these facets will help India grow spiritually and socially. Closes with some of the local India ads with Aamir Khan. Quite funny and entertaining, and interesting use of local dialects and, of course, the token patriotism.