Coca-Cola Has Done It Again

The most effective work draws a personal and emotional connection with consumers. And Mother’s Day campaigns are a good test of which brands are getting it right.

This year, we worked with Coca-Cola to build a Mother’s Day campaign around the common experience that mothers provide unconditional love throughout various stages in our lives. Coca-Cola has transformed some of these unforgettable moments into an interactive film called Inseparable where viewers can experience the moments from either a mom’s or a daughter’s eyes.

Coca-Cola Inseparable

The film goes beyond just expressing “Thank you” to moms. Targeted at U.S.-based Latin consumers, upon completion of the video a button appears on screen prompting viewers to call their moms anywhere in the world for free, directly from their desktop. Coca-Cola believes this simple phone call helps participants give moms the Mother’s Day gift “she really wants.”

But the experience has not just been touching for the mothers on the receiving end. Those initiating the engagement too have been touched, commenting on the film’s beautiful message and tagging their moms to share in enjoying the film together.

Nominated for Portada’s Latin Marketing and Media Award under the category Top Hispanic Digital Advertising Campaign Plan and Execution, Inseparable is one campaign by a brand that understands how to move its audience.

Vote for Inseparable in the awards show below:


Inspiring #OpenUp Moments with Coca-Cola in the Middle East

Ramadan is essentially the Super Bowl of the Middle East. It’s the single busiest marketing time in the Muslim world. Companies typically dedicate 20% of their annual media spend to the month of Ramadan. Shortened work hours and decreased energy as a result of fasting leads to an influx of online media consumption. In fact, time spent online increases by 35% and social media usage increases by 30%.

Coca-Cola wanted to show their commitment to their Muslim consumers by launching a regionally relevant Ramadan campaign that would break through the clutter and create a meaningful dialogue. First, we needed a social insight.

Expectations are something Arabs live with every day. They’re expected to be engineers, doctors or lawyers, just like their fathers. They’re expected to be formal around their elders, even their own grandparents. Sometimes, they’re even expected to marry someone their parents have chosen for them. With all these pressures, there is a lot of tension that gets kept bottled up. We decided to go to the root of this tension: the fact that they don’t tell each other how they really feel.

We wanted to show real people addressing real family tensions. Through influencers, we wanted to invite our audience to #OpenUp; to speak the unspoken and have a real connection with those who matter most.

But influencer relationship management is an immature practice in the Middle East. Despite the abundance of talented bloggers, strategic, engaging and ethical influencer programs are rare. Often times, bloggers are paid to collaborate with brands, leading to inauthentic and scripted results. We needed to stay true to Social@Ogilvy’s Blogger Code of Ethics, providing a true value exchange for our influencers through meaningful and impactful experiences.

We found two highly authoritative and influential people who were struggling with their own inability to #OpenUp, Instagram sensation – Ascia AKF – from Kuwait and MENA Top Chef – Chef Badr – from Saudi Arabia. The value exchange was strong. They would have the opportunity to inspire thousands of people throughout the region by partnering with a global brand that had the resources to tell their moving story in an impactful way. In exchange, these influencers not only physically let us into their homes and willingly promoted the campaign on their own prolific channels, but more importantly, they allowed Coca-Cola candid access to their personal family life. Together, Coca-Cola and the influencers truly partnered to co-create content and inspire others to #OpenUp.

Ascia AKF Video:

Chef Badr video:

When Ascia posted a clip of the video to her own Instagram, she received more than 22,000 post likes and 3,000 comments within one day. During the two weeks, the videos received more than 1 million views. Additionally, there were more than 580,000 social media interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets), attaining more than 11,000,000 social media impressions. There were thousands of social media comments in which people exclaimed their inspiration.

The most exciting result, however, was the 42% increase in Coca-Cola’s most important global metric – Brand Love Score – during the month of Ramadan. This was the highest increase in Brand Love Score Coca-Cola MENA has ever experienced. Meaningful engagements really are the way forward. Have you faced any challenges with authentic influencer work in your market?

Photo source:

The Play’s the Thing – #Gamification

The following excerpt is by Marianne Pizzi, Executive Group Director, Ogilvy & Mather, and the global lead for Fanta. This post first appeared on Fast Company.

Is this all just a game to you? For Fanta, that’s the whole idea. For full disclosure, Fanta is a client.

Those of us who work on Fanta, a brand that sees playing as among its most fundamental attributes, have always believed in the power of play, and in today’s world, that power is only growing. For millennials, gaming is the currency of their lives. Games are key connection points, tools for learning in schools, at work and at home, and important social vehicles, fostering communities of both the virtual and flesh-and-blood variety. They provide a channel for talking to friends and the lens through which they experience life.

At their best, games provide the chance to enter new worlds and make decisions about how to interact and how to work and play together. That’s in stark contrast to the role they played in previous generations: Back in the 20th century, games were largely frivolous–prevalent in the daily newspaper’s Jumble puzzle and the rattle and thrum of arcades, but never much more than a pleasant diversion.

Today’s gamified world represents a welcome mat rather than an obstacle for us. It’s a chance to join consumers in a deeper, more engaging form of storytelling and to stretch ourselves into new creative arenas. With “Play Fanta” we’ve done exactly that. It is the world’s first wholly playable franchise. Every element involves a game of some kind, from the interactive graphic novel that forms the basis for the content to the TV spots to the player-driven content that bridges across all digital platforms.

“Play Fanta” is, in the argot of The Coca-Cola Company, “liquid and linked”–everything is connected and seamlessly flows across all platforms globally, easily translating into other media, languages and cultures and adapting to every level of digital infrastructure. And all the different layers of games work on their own and can be played in any order and shared amongst friends.

Click here to read the full post on O&M’s Fast Company channel

3 Insights from an Oreo Cookie Tweet

Fast and Funny was the theme for this year’s best super bowl ads – whether Deion Sanders reliving rookie glory days with a jheri-curl afro, or Audi’s Prom Kiss, the Budweiser Clydesdale love story, Cola’s security camera moments – to deliver the humor, deliver the story swiftly and furiously.

Whether a guffaw, pang to the gut, or the tug on your heartstrings – the most successful (or talked about) interactions with the 2013 Super Bowl audience were clever, quick and personable.

This is why the Oreo cookie tweet made so much ado – a brand team sitting with access to top executives in a NASA-type control room, ready for the game (literally), positioned themselves to come up with something beyond the prescription of a commercial. It was inherently social. Fancy that!

15,300+ Retweets and 5,400 Favorites (in counting) of the Oreo cookie tweet shows three trends you will see more of this year with the rise of client comfort and education on social platforms:

1. Be conversational.

Talk. Like. A. Human. Bueller? Bueller? Yea, don’t be that guy. Be the other guy – the guy you want to talk to at the obligatory dinner party. Does he make you cross-eyed with boredom and formality, and talk only about himself? Nope. He makes you laugh. Or at least he makes you feel good.

2. Be relevant.

Act in the moment – the largest success of the Oreo team was putting together an actionable team that had all the powers to make a decision, execute it, and amplify it in the moment.

3. Be actionable.

There’s no need to reserve this Varsity-team power for Super Bowl-only events. There is a need for evolution in processes – 15,000+ Retweets is the perfect case-in-point. Newsjacking comes in all sizes.

Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Require Fast-Moving Social Tactics

Another year is almost upon us and with the passing of 2012 it hardly seems like the same world I recall from 2007, five short years ago when I helped launch some of the first brand pages on Facebook and Twitter. Many of these brands were FMCGs or CPGs as they like to be labeled in North America. What is interesting is looking at how FMCGs have evolved in utilizing social to remain relevant in a category that must remain rapid in terms of its marketing tactics.

FMCG marketers must think on their feet at all times like their customers do. The customer in a store aisle doesn’t ponder for hours if he should buy a bottle of soda, a box of macaroni and cheese or a package of cookies. These are quick buys and social still plays a role in terms of priming the customer to make these decisions.

As a result of this, social for FMCGs is very different from that of other categories within B2C and B2B in that the marketing programs within this category’s social must be quick, use their base audience to do the heavy lifting, be set up to engage with customers and their habits as they exist in the present and to take advantage of the neo-publishing model being adapted at a faster rate by so many brands in order to stay relevant with ongoing conversation in a 24/7 world.

The evolution of social platforms and the move toward more mobility will ultimately lead to even more changes in 2013. But for now, let’s take a look at five examples of brands that offered unique solutions in 2012 and then five things FMCGs should be thinking of as they prepare for 2013.

Five examples of great execution for FMCGs in 2012:

  • Oreo – The launch of the 100-day ‘Daily Twist’ campaign helped develop content around the cookie to create conversation. The brand really took advantage of people’s modern-day media habits by creating content around current events to help align the brand with what people were seeing in the news.
  • Red Bull – With one swift fall, the Austrian energy drink brand may have changed the face of marketing forever. Over 8 million people watched the live jump by extreme sports athlete Felix Baumgartner on YouTube while the jump was shown by more than 40 TV stations and 130 digital outlets. Red Bull’s Facebook post-jump photo of Baumgartner gained almost 216,000 likes, 10,000 comments and over 29,000 shares within 40 minutes, and half the worldwide trending topics on Twitter were related to Red Bull Stratos. In terms of ROI, some analysts predicted the event went beyond a stunt in that it created international buzz. That mass exposure may have led to a change in customer behavior from buying a Rockstar or a Monster to buying a Red Bull.
  • Old Spice – The brand followed up their successful and unique 2011 social campaign with an even more interesting social campaign that allowed users to remix an interactive video in real time. Users felt like they could truly make their own music making the left-of-center campaign very unique in terms of generating word of mouth.
  • Coca-Cola – Coke always launches a number of unique social campaigns but the biggest move by the brand was their “Happiness Is” Tumblr. Although not the first brand to use the platform, the brand understood how to use the platform, populating it with user-submitted photos and old advertising content giving the brand a unique area in whick to recycle and reuse content.
  • Cadbury – The brand announced in 2012 that they would seed everything via social first before going to traditional media. What Cadbury did was adopt the “test-and-learn” modeling that strategists have suggested for some time. They also moved quickly into realizing that the 1 million fans they had on Facebook were not as important as drumming up engagement of those fans whom they could reach as the more important KPI.

Five things FMCGs should think about in 2013:

  • Mobility – Who isn’t thinking about mobile? The issue FCMG’s need to consider further in this emerging area is how to use real-time applications to help inform customers and incentivize purchases.
  • Listening – Brands do a great job speaking, but listening to learn what customers really want out of products is still an emerging area.
  • Publishing – Not every brand is a publisher. Nor will they necessarily be in 2013. But those which can adapt what Oreo, Red Bull and Coca-Cola are doing will be able to track more efficiently how their content helps drive awareness, sales, CRM and product innovation.
  • Short Form Video as a new monetization revenue stream for the brand – Brands usually pay lots of money to media outlets to amplify their message. They then track this marketing expenditure based on success rates of how much product they then moved off the shelves. This may alter as brands begin to produce more original content that they can then monetize using platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. So instead of always having to buy media, some brands may be able to produce content that is underwritten via social channels.
  • Product Placement in Web and Mobile Video with Online Celebrities – There was a whole empire built around brands getting placed in a blockbuster Hollywood movie. But not every FMCG has a budget to afford this. They do however have the creative ability to tap into video influencers ala iJustine and Joe Penna on outlets like YouTube to get their product placed in one of the several videos these celebrities produce per week. Views between 50,000 and 100,000 per video are commonplace. It’s now a matter of brands and their agencies identifying which celebrities align with their target audience and working to figure out the right creative angle to come across as a natural integration. Stephen Colbert did this most famously with Wheat Thins in 2012.