The Millennial Mind: Minding for Gold
Posted: July 26, 2012 | 11:30 ET
Ad campaigns for the Olympics have become as big budget, exciting and inspiring as the games themselves. Hours of preparation and mega-millions pour into advertisements for an event that lasts two weeks. But, when stripped to the bare bones, the Olympics are focused on one common goal – bringing home gold.
For London 2012, 80-year Olympic vets Coca Cola have adopted a new advertising strategy that launches their brand into ambitious new territory. “Move to the Beat” is their largest campaign yet and targets youth by capitalizing on the ever-growing social media world. All content will be distributed via social media by youth themselves so Coca-Cola can target consumers in a way they know will hit-home and spread fast.
Building on the success of their 2010 World Cup campaign featuring Canadian rapper K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag,” their new single, “Anywhere in the World” is the soundtrack for their 2012 Olympic commercials. This inspiring fusion of music and sport captures the social vibe of London 2012 so viewers feel a part of the games. Coca-Cola’s global Olympic marketing director, Claudia Navarro, told Ad Age, “Sometimes you have games coming and going and you get a lot of info on the event, but you miss out on what it would have felt like had you been there.” The goal of this campaign is to develop emotional connections between their brand and consumers to generate positive, viral social media activity.
Precedent shows that youth spread information through social media fast and vast. For instance, tweets about the Euro cup broke the tweeting record, a record that is likely to be broken again during the Olympics. When users tweet, share and post about the “Move to the Beat” campaign, Coca-Cola benefits from free advertising that directly reaches their target market.
It’s risks such as designing a campaign centered on youth’s extensive use of social media that give Coca Cola prestigious industry recognition - winning them awards like “Ad Age Marketer of the Year” (2011) and a top spot on Interbrand’s most-valuable global brands list. Because of their success, moving forward they will forgo a reliance on traditional advertising and produce content that is accessible on all mediums. Social marketing campaigns will likely continue to take advantage of the direct social engagement that social media offers and rely on its largest demographic of users (ages 18-34) to spread information.
While the Olympics have long been a competitive battleground for advertisers, the nature of the competition is quickly changing. It's time to see if Coca-Cola’s “Move to the Beat” campaign has what it takes to bring home gold.
Joanna Hatt is a Communications Specialist for The Globe's Marketing Services team. The Millennial Mind is a series of articles illustrating new ways to understand and reach today's Millennials - their unique attributes and why they're of significant value to your brand.
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