Coke Stares Into the Crystal Ball

Coca-Cola execs hosted an Investor and Analyst event on November 16 and 17 in Atlanta to discuss the company’s “2020 Vision and Roadmap for Winning Together.”
According to Ad Age:

Coke pulled out all the stops at the meeting, its first such confab since 1998. There was a dinner designed by Linton Hopkins, named one of 2009’s best new chefs by Food & Wine, using Coca-Cola as a key ingredient; a sampling of Coca-Cola’s foreign beverages; and tastings from its Freestyle fountain, which boasts more than 100 beverage varieties. But underlying the discussion of new products, pricing, targeting, marketing and media approaches was a common theme: putting the consumer front and center.
From a marketing perspective, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said the company will focus on working across many geographies, cultures and channels, targeting the right consumers in a fragmented media environment and innovating. “People are demanding more and more for their time and attention. People need to be constantly entertained now, [it’s an] ADD economy,” said Joe Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer. “We’re changing fundamentally from being TV commercial producers to content developers. … We’re leading a new and unique approach … from purely mass marketing to one-on-one marketing.”

You’re not going to find a more definitive argument for content than that. As someone who has personally invested heavily in this direction, it’s heartening to hear such support from one of the world’s top marketing organizations. Where Coke leads, the rest will follow.
It’s important to note that Coke also sees its income rising from $85 billion to $200 billion in the next ten years. If they’re projections are right, and content is at the center of their marketing efforts, then there will be no turning back–20th century come-ons will begin to look like the relics they are.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.