iPod inspires Coke's outdoor splash
When the grand old man of consumer brands, Coke, found it had lost a little of its shimmer, it turned to the latest brand sensation -- iPod -- for inspiration.india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 11:09 IST
When the grand old man of consumer brands, Coke, found it had lost a little of its shimmer, it turned to the latest brand sensation -- iPod -- for inspiration.
The world's biggest soft drink company, Coca-Cola Co, is set to launch its new "Welcome to the Coke side of life" advertising blitz this weekend, but only after studying a new icon, Apple Computer Inc.'s popular iPod digital music player.
Analysts said the company that taught the world to sing with "The Real Thing" in the 1970s and struck a chord with "Have a Coke and a Smile" in the early 1980s is still struggling to find a new catchphrase and imagery that will stick.
Apart from a series of television ads, Coke will emphasize outdoor advertising more than it has in the past with a range of colourful wallscapes -- some as high as 200 feet -- depicting myriad colours and images splashing out of a Coke bottle.
Katie Bayne, senior vice president of Coca-Cola brands, told reporters during a presentation this week that Coke studied Apple's print and outdoor communication, noting that it had a lot of clarity.
Apple's "Silhouettes" campaign, with its graphic imagery of shadowy figures dancing while listening to music on their iPods, served as a reminder about the product to consumers on the move, advertising experts said.
"It is important with big brands that we evoke the feeling of what we are trying to say to people as opposed to telling people. You feel what the benefit of iPod is in the creative," said Esther Lee, Coke's chief creative officer, adding that Coke is trying to do the same with its advertising.
Coke, going a step further to grab consumers' attention, will have some billboards hold just the image of the Coke bottle with the splash of colour from the bottle spilling all over the facade of the building it is mounted on.
But at least one industry watcher expressed reservations about Coke's plans.
"iPod is all about being hip and cool and they can get away with billboards that are just colorful and are just there as a reminder, which is what outdoors is about," said Jack Trout, president of marketing strategy firm Trout & Partners.
"If I were to use outdoor for Coke, I would do the exact opposite. I would run 19th century billboards. That would be startling," Trout said.