Live from Cannes: Cannes goes red

Live from Cannes logoIt is said that one of Coca Cola’s objectives is to ensure that people are never more than an armlength’s away from a Coke and that certainly seems to be the case here in Cannes.

Coke are everywhere. There are Coke fridges in the basement of the Palais where people can help themselves to specially designed ‘Cannes 60th’ Coke bottles (a temporary basement wide panic about a lack of bottle openers has now been averted), smiley Coke ladies handing out Coke bottles to delegates (no smiley Coke men?) and Coke speakers are dominating the agenda today.

Coke at CannesJonathan Mildenhall and Ivan Pollard are speaking shortly on ‘Work that matters’ while Neil Bedwell from Coke (who I’m sure introduced himself as David causing me to think that either David has stepped in at the last moment or I should have gone to bed earlier last night) has just been speaking in a forum about Coke’s content marketing strategy.

He said a few interesting things among which was that “we want to embed every interaction that people have with our brand with something special” which, while perhaps difficult to sustain in Asda multi-buy deals, is a fine ambition to have. As is their desire to “capture a disproportionate share of popular culture” something that it would be good to see more brands try to measure along with share of voice, share of market, share of wallet etc…

But I was particularly struck by 3 of the principles Neil / David talked about which they apply to their marketing at Coke.

1) Think small first – recognising that screens are getting smaller and most brand engagement is very light tough Coke ask themselves “how does it look on a small screen or in a tweet?” first. It’s a simple idea but a very smart one. Most people can probably relate to brands spending disproportionate amounts of time sweating over a long form 2 minute ad that’s only going to be aired once. I’m claiming this one as a triumph for media context. Hurrah.

2) Real Time wins – “we can’t take anything like the time we used to take” – Oreo’s “you can still dunk in the dark” got a shout out here from Neil / David. I think we all get this principle. Doing something quickly and wittily beats pouring over it for ages and missing an opportunity.

3) Executions shape strategy – which is basically saying that small ideas can, should and do influence strategic thinking and that we shouldn’t fixate on strategy too much.
Essentially it seems that Coke’s marketing is basically “tissue marketing” but opened up for the world to see. The good stuff gets picked up and celebrated. The stuff that doesn’t work just gets forgotten and nobody loses any sleep over it. Which is probably how it should be really.

Right, I’m off to look at some work…

Posted By David Wilding, Head of Planning


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