Ted Ryan, the guy in red in the photo above, has a job that many would dream of.
Also known as the Director of Heritage Communications a.k.a. Archivist of Coca-Cola, Ted’s work brings him into contact with Coke’s significant collection worth US$15 million of artefacts, artworks and antiques. Part preserver, presenter and promoter (he is also a blogger for Coke), Ted’s 15 year experience in Coke makes him a walking encyclopedia of this ubiquitous and beloved beverage brand.
Bloggers posing for the camera with Tiffany Goh from Coke
Celebrate the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games with Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. Global partners since 1955, the two leading consumer brands are worldwide partners of the upcoming Games in London, and are offering customers a limited edition set of 6 “Coca-Cola London 2012 Olympic Games” glasses.
Thanks to June, Tiffany and Laura of the Coca-Cola Singapore team, I was invited to the cosy 126th birthday party for Coca-Cola held at the Dallas Restaurant and Bar at Boat Quay. As a marketer and a publicist, I’ve always admired how the world’s largest beverage company continually reinvented its flagship Coca-Cola brand despite having such a long heritage. It was fascinating to see how the brand associates itself with values such as fun, happiness and enjoyment through activities that resonate with its customers.
At the thematic party adorned with Coca-Cola’s unmistakeable reds and whites, I learned how the company continually innovated its marketing and PR efforts. Other than traditional advertising on mainstream channels, Coke experimented successfully with guerrilla marketing, emotional marketing, buzz and viral marketing, co-branding, sponsorship (Coke has sponsored the Olympics movement for 84 years in total!) as well as immersive experience rich events and showcases (such as the party itself). The company further embraced its role as a corporate citizen by sponsoring and encouraging sustainable and civic-minded practices such as recycling and caring for the less fortunate.
With Earth Hour around the corner, it is timely for both individuals and companies to consider how they can reduce their environmental impact on our beautiful planet.
Coca-Cola Singapore is certainly taking a proactive role in this area. As part of their effort to instil the habit of recycling in Singapore, they are launching the Recycle Happiness Machine (yes that’s its actual name!) which will be popping up at five different locations around the Orchard Road/Dhoby Ghaut area. The machine provides a fun way for members of the public to deposit their used plastic beverage bottles in exchange for a little gift.
A few weeks ago, at the kind invitation of Coca-Cola’s agency Fulford PR, my colleagues and I were given a juicy treat of about 3 dozen bottles of the new Minute Maid Pulpy juice. I also received a brightly coloured package which came in cheerful splashes of orange.
Apparently, this was part of the new launch by the world’s number one fruit & vegetable juice brand, Minute Maid, which incorporated pulpy fruit sacs into their new juices. Part of the Coca-Cola company’s stable of products, the beverage giant has undertaken its largest sampling promotion campaign ever for Minute Maid.
Like any other geek, I love glimpses into the future that technology can bring. Social technologies and mobile devices like smart phones have now evolved to the stage of bringing networked information, intelligence and interactivity to the masses.
Against such a backdrop, it was a treat to listen to Piers Fawkes, CEO of PSFK and creator of the Good Ideas Salon. Speaking on “Intelligent Cities, Innovation and Sustainability”, Piers shared about the multiple ways that urban jurisdictions can embrace leveraging on the social and mobile web.
As the world’s leading consumer brand, Coca-Cola generates significant online interest (although perhaps not as much as technology brands like Google, Apple and Microsoft). Each day, the beverage behemoth records about 5,000 English mentions online.
How does the company manage its social media strategy then?
Communication technologies have influenced brand-customer relationships in Asia, just as they have all over the world. Transparency and openness are now more important than ever before. Against such a backdrop, what could brands do to reach their customers?
I found out the answers to this and more at a talk by Deirdre McGlashan, CEO of wwwins Isobar of Greater China during my trip to Shanghai. According to her, the ubiquity of digital technologies, concerns over sustainability, rise of globalisation, and increase in consumer activism mandates a new approach to marketing.
Every single consumer touchpoint in its pavillion, fashioned after its world-famous “Happiness Factory” transmedia campaign, was a 360 degree brand encounter. The entire holistic and immersive experience was orchestrated to stimulate the senses, from sight, sound, scent, taste to touch. For Coca-Cola fans, it was also highly emotional and community bonding.
Tom LaForge, Global Director of Human & Cultural Insights from Coca-Cola
This man has a dream job. Also known as the Global Director of Human & Cultural Insights at Coca-Cola, Tom LaForge’s occupation is to sniff out trends, foresee the future, and position Coca-Cola in the ever evolving consumer market. At my recent trip to Coke’s Global Innovation and Technology Center at Shanghai (courtesy of Coca-Cola), I had the privilege of listening to Tom’s views on macroforces and how Coca-Cola responds to them.
What are the eight macroforces according to Coke? Well, they are: