We are Chariot, a communications company that propels brands
with high–impact marketing solutions. We act as the vehicle, turning
goals into reality and ideas into market share. We will guide you on
the journey to brand leadership. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Since Dr. John Stith-Pemberton first bottled his classic recipe in 1886, Coca-Cola has
enjoyed overwhelming success. However, Coca-Cola is losing its foothold in the Mil-
lennial market. Chariot found this is due not only to the proliferation of new bever-
age brands, but also because Millennials do not see Coca-Cola as their beverage. They
view it as beverage of their parent’s generation. While Coca-Cola is an accepted
brand it is not an insisted brand. They do not consider Coca-Cola as relevant to
their lifestyles and this lack of connection contributes to share decline.
This is about to change.
Through extensive research, we uncovered Six Truths about Coca-Cola and Six
Truths about Millennials. These truths pinpoint problems and opportunities for
connecting with Millennials, and guide our strategies to meet the Coca-Cola brand
health and consumption objectives. We identified three Millennial segments repre-
senting the best opportunity for Coca-Cola. These segments, the Sparkling Social-
ites, Connected Caffeinators, and Busy Buddies, represent more than 75 percent of
Coca-Cola consumption among Millennials.
Our research revealed two key insights that stand apart from all others. First,
Millennials value their experiences with friends above all else. Second, no other
beverage is better suited to and readily accepted in these social experiences than
Coca-Cola. These insights fueled the creation of a strategy unique to the Coca-Cola
brand, and provide a platform for a new and exciting campaign. Our strategy: Coke
is an uplifting part of your favorite shared experiences. This strategy
has led us to executions and media that present the Coca-Cola brand to Millennials
in compelling and engaging ways. We use new technology and new media to further
excite Millennials and energize the Coca-Cola brand.
Our executions seamlessly integrate into Millennials’ lives through what we call
“connections.” These connections eliminate traditional communication silos. Our ad-
vertising, media, public relations, event marketing, cause branding, and retail activation
operate in unison to provide Millennials social value and make Coca-Cola a central
part of their lives.
Our points of connection establish an uplifting brand relationship between Millen-
nials and Coca-Cola. Through this relationship, Coca-Cola will transition from an
accepted brand to an insisted brand.
This makes the Coke Side of Life an even better place to be.
ExEcuTivE SummaRy 1
Get smaRt befoRe you staRt
We set out to learn as much as possible about Millennials and the sparkling1
beverage industry. We established the following objectives:
•Pinpoint how Millennials2 live and what inspires them
•Discover the intricacies of Millennials’ multicultural demographics, lifestyles, and
•Understand Millennials’ attitudes towards the Coca–Cola brand, how Coca–
Cola fits into their lives, and what opportunities exist to accelerate brand
•Identify brands best connecting with Millennials and understand their
Chariot conducted extensive secondary and primary studies to meet our research
objectives. In doing so, we:
•Analyzed more than 500 articles and studies focusing on Millennials
•Researched Websites that influence our target market
•Monitored online forums and message boards to track target preferences
•Reviewed electronic databases, trade publications, scholarly journals, and
popular publications regarding the sparkling beverage industry
•Administered more than 1000 interactive surveys across 38 states to gain
insight into our target’s behaviors and interests about beverages
•Conducted more than 20 focus groups to understand Millennials’ lifestyles,
beliefs, and language relating to beverages
•Conducted Coca–Cola Socialization Tests by providing one Millennial group
Coca–Cola and omitting it from another. We observed a marked increase in
interaction during the Coca–Cola sessions
•Employed projective techniques to uncover deeper feeling towards Coca–Cola
including: Facebook profiles, yearbook entries, and collages
•Interviewed AAF Latino Marketing Conference keynote speaker Luis Fitch,
Creative Director of UNO
•Conducted in–person interview (New York) with MTV Vice President of
Marketing and MTV New Business Development Executive
•Conducted in–person interview (Boston) with Executives at Cone Inc.
•Pre–tested our strategy and advertising
On 2/14/2007 Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO E. Neville Isdell made news by referring to the carbonated and
2 SiTuaTiON aNaLySiS
non-carbonated beverage categories as “sparkling” and “still.” This is the language we will use going forward.
Millennials refers to our target, 13-24 year-olds. Though also commonly known as Gen Y and Echo Boomers,
we will use the term Millennials throughout the book to refer to our target.
Chariot has summarized the most significant discoveries of our research. These
findings guide our strategy and creative executions.
Behaviors and Personalities: It is all about socialization
•Millennials have an innate need to belong and be accepted by their peer groups
•Their lives revolve around socialization. Times of social connection are the best
moments of Millennials’ lives
•Youth are constantly connected to their friends through technology
•Millennials expect and demand instant gratification
“People have an innate urge to
Millennials’ Perceptions of Coca–Cola
connect with other people...
•Coca–Cola is the rare brand with 100 percent awareness and trial; everyone
has a point of view about Coca–Cola
they are wired to want to
•Coca–Cola is the beverage of choice at social gatherings connect with others.”
•Coca–Cola is viewed as a traditional beverage, and one that has never been
exclusively Millennials’ Marc Andreessen Founder, Netscape
•Coca–Cola is an accepted brand but is not an insisted brand
Marketing to Millennials
•Millennials are targeted more than any other group
•Multicultural youth do not want to be segmented or spoken to separately
•Millennials are brand nomads
•Millennials value socially responsible brands
•Millennials are communication savvy and reject advertising that does not speak
directly to them
Vanessa Hambidge–Vice President of Marketing Julia Hobbs Kivistik–Executive Vice President AAF Latino Marketing Conference
Ryan Spicer–New Business Development Executive Kivalena Starr–Account Executive Luis Fitch–President and Creative Director of Uno
Since its inception, no company has more closely Cone Inc. and AMP Insights 2006 Millennials Cause Chariot attended an American Advertising Federation
studied youth culture than MTV. They have a deep Branding Study Latino Marketing Conference to better understand a
connection with Millennials and continuously reinvent Cone Inc. is an award–winning brand strategy agency, vital segment of our target. We interviewed keynote
themselves to stay relevant. We visited their offices to specializing in building brand trust. Their work includes speaker Luis Fitch, president and creative director of
learn from and better understand MTV’s insights about the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Uno. Uno is a branding agency specializing in the Latino
our target. From our interview we uncovered five and Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives campaigns. The market. Four points of emphasis Chariot discovered
imperatives to consider when marketing to Millennials: purpose of our interview was to gain knowledge about were:
•Media Touch Points: know their media habits and cause branding to Millennials. In a recent cause brand- •Archetypal situations are more globally
be where they are ing study Cone Inc. found that 89 percent of Millennials understood than culture
are likely or very likely to switch from one brand to •The majority of Latinos are fully acculturated and
•Respect and Reflect: respect the way they see another based on cause branding, more than any other
themselves and reflect their experiences prefer English to Spanish
group. Cone Inc. emphasized three main points to be
•Technology: Millennials are tech savvy and mindful of when creating a cause branding campaign: •Youth is their common denominator.Youth
know how to use various platforms to get outweighs race, culture, and ethnicity in how
•It is important to capitalize on the shared
entertainment when, where, and how they want Millennials view themselves
experiences of this generation
•Engagement: every impression should drive the •Rather than targeting Latino–specific media,
•It is imperative to support a cause that aligns with
consumer to be engaged on another platform Latino youth are most effectively reached through
the brand personality and matches the values of
channels appealing to all youth
•Monitoring: it is vital to constantly monitor this the audience
market because of its fickle viewpoints, interests, •Millennials desire ownership of their contribution
and activities and need a means to show their participation
4 SiTuaTiON aNaLySiS
industRy analysis Mountain Dew is the brand Millennials associate with living life on the edge.
Integrating the brand into Millennials’ lives and speaking directly to them is the
key to Mountain Dew’s success. Millennials believe Mountain Dew is an
Choices, Choices, Choices In a nation of endless choices, the sparkling beverage accompaniment to an extreme and exciting life.
industry is struggling. The sparkling industry volume dropped .6 percent in 2006,
tripling the rate of the previous year’s decline. As the beverage industry proliferates Millennials view Dr. Pepper as a sparkling beverage resembling other colas, but
and expands, it will be more necessary than ever for brands to have single–minded with a distinctive taste. Dr. Pepper puts forth a unique and eccentric personality,
brand positions and messages. differentiating it from its competitors. It has a strong female consumer base,
especially in the 13–18 year–old demographic. Dr. Pepper’s strongest asset is its
Health–Driven Consumers In 2006, a three percent decline in the consumption flavor, which their latest ad campaign emphasizes.
of regular sparkling beverages was accompanied by a four percent increase of diet
sparkling beverages. Diet options have grown as concerns over obesity have found In 2006, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper increased both market share and volume,
their place in news media. Simultaneously, Millennials’ concerns over image have while Coca–Cola and Pepsi suffered a decrease in each. Also, Pepsi recently made
allowed diet sparkling beverages to fulfill the role of refreshment for this target, inroads with McDonald’s, a major Coca–Cola outlet.
eliminating the calories of regular sparkling beverages. Secondary Millennials consume a variety of beverages for reasons such as refresh-
Fizz Fortification An emphasis on healthy lifestyles has led to many new product ment, energy, indulgence, and nutrition. Due to the continual introduction of new
developments in the sparkling beverage industry, altering Millennials preferred products in the beverage industry, Coca–Cola will continually face new competition.
choices with a heightened awareness of wellbeing. The industry is trying to meet Energy Drinks such as Red Bull and Rockstar have captivated the Millennial market
ever–evolving consumer demand by incorporating new benefits to existing products. by emphasizing the energy boost sparkling beverages cannot match. Also, coffee
Implication Because of the growing number of beverage choices, Coca–Cola must shops have emerged as prominent places for socialization in the lives of Millennials,
connect with Millennials like never before. Currently, Coca–Cola does not speak fulfilling the role of a gathering place away from home.
directly to them and must significantly improve both media and messaging to engage Sports drinks are adapting themselves to Millennials as more than simply sports
Millennials. We need a unique and compelling point of view for the brand drinks. By emphasizing features such as electrolytes and vitamin–enriched recipes,
that lets Millennials conclude we are talking exclusively to them. they fill a new role as a daily beverage choice. Millennials view sports drinks as
appropriate for re–hydration rather than for social situations.
While fruit juices, bottled water, and tap water have been staple choices for years,
they indirectly compete with sparkling beverages. Millennials do not see these as
directly interchangeable, but they still reside on the beverage spectrum.
Primary Sparkling beverages such as Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Dr. Pepper are
Coca–Cola’s primary competitors. Millennials embrace each brand because they
believe these brands are designed for youth and allow them to play a distinct
role in their lives.
Unlike Coca–Cola, Pepsi treats Millennials as its peers, exhibiting a carefree and lively
image. Through juvenile humor and irreverence, Pepsi connects to these consumers.
Millennials expect Pepsi to be trendy and on the cutting edge of popular culture. “A 13 year-old in
Pepsi’s new packaging campaign illustrates current trends through various lifestyle
icons on its cans. Florida has more in
common with a 13
year-old in Russia than
with his own parents.”
“Basic idea: to see Coke not as it was
originally designed to be—a liquid refresher—
but as a tiny bit of commonality between all
peoples, a universally liked formula that would
help to keep them company for a few minutes.” swot analysis
Based on our research, we have developed the following SWOT analysis:
Bill Backer, former creative director on the
Based on our research and insights we have developed Six Truths Millennials have
about Coca–Cola. Understanding these truths is essential to address the brand
health and brand consumption objectives.
Six Truths Millennials have about Coca–Cola
1. In social situations Coca–Cola is the brand of choice and the most broadly
accepted beverage. Coca–Cola’s advertising and promotions do not leverage
the opportunity this represents
2. The Coca–Cola brand is filled with imagery created by and for past
generations. Coca–Cola runs the risk of becoming dated
3. Coca–Cola’s advertising is a traditional mass–market approach designed for
everyone–Millennials are allowed to listen in
4. The continual proliferation of the Coca–Cola brand portfolio dilutes the
prestige of Coca–Cola Classic
5. Millennials accept Coca–Cola but they do not insist on it
6. Because Coca–Cola is both the name of the brand and the parent company it
has a greater responsibility to engage in cause branding
6 SiTuaTiON aNaLySiS
Millennials crave social interactions and are bound by the shared experiences
of growing up. The commonalities of this process are the foundation for their
social connections. Technology enables a variety of marketing opportunities
making Millennials the most targeted demographic. However, many messages
speak unsuccessfully to Millennials, whose habits are ever–changing. Millennials
embrace brands that are easily integrated into their lives and engage in cause
branding. From these insights, we have identified Six Truths about Millennials.
“With so many ways to Six Truths about Millennials
1. Social connection is desired above all else
stay connected to friends, 2. They reward brands that fit into their lives and ignore brands expecting
conversations never end. them to adapt
3. They define themselves first and foremost by their youth
A big part of being a teen 4. As tech–savvy consumers, they adopt brands that allow them to stay
is defining yourself through 5. They are innately skeptical of marketing messages
your peers.” 6. They are brand nomads who are experimental in their choices
Anastasia Goodstein, Ypulse.com
SiTuaTiON aNaLySiS 7
Socialization defines Millennials. Each day they spend more than four hours on social
networking sites, sending text messages, talking on the phone, and instant messaging. We identified three other segments of the sparkling beverage market. They include
These are the most uplifting times of the day. Millennials are constantly connected Diet Devoted, Food and Fizzers and Mingling Mixers. The segments are based on diet
to their peers. With this in mind, we identified six segments of the Millennial market. beverage preference, sparkling beverage food pairings and alcoholic mixing, respec-
These segments are derived from how sparkling beverages fits into Millennials’ lives tively. These segments are smaller and we see less opportunity to improve brand
and Coca–Cola’s ability to satisfy the need states identified in the case. Three of health and brand consumption.
these segments represent our best opportunity to increase brand health and brand
consumption. We call them the Sparkling Socialites, Connected Caffeinators, and
Busy Buddies. These segments allow us to reach more than 65 percent of the Millen- FiT WiTH
cHaNcE cOca-cOLa maRKET
nial market, which accounts for 75 percent of all Millennial consumption of sparkling FOR PROFiT maRKET SiZE BRaNd imaGE accESSiBiLiTy
Sparkling Socialites These young consumers are trendsetters who take any
opportunity to socialize face–to–face or through technology. The social currency SOciaLiTES
of inside jokes and “gossip” is seductive to this group, making a night without
friends devastating. An innate need for belonging is what drives their social nature.
They consume sparkling beverages during the best moments of their lives. Sparkling
Socialites are especially important because in a group setting sparkling beverage
choices are contagious and individual consumption rates rise. Coca–Cola helps cONNEcTEd
fulfill their need state of having a good time, especially with friends. Sparkling Social-
ites represent 30 percent of all Millennials.
Connected Caffeinators These consumers are on the cutting edge of technological
advances and use this technology for entertainment and to connect with others. The BuSy
term Technotribalism best describes their digital interaction. They have addictive and BuddiES
competitive personalities, making their beverage choice a habitual accompaniment
to gaming, web surfing and time with the guys. Connected Caffeinators are the
heaviest users of sparkling beverages. Coca–Cola provides a sense of fun, comfort,
and relaxation during their activities. The Connected Caffeinators comprise 15 FOOd &
percent of all Millennials. FiZZERS
Busy Buddies Busy Buddies value sparkling beverages between various tasks of their
hectic lives. They treat their sparkling beverage as a reward, making their trip to the
vending machine a “water cooler” experience, chatting with friends and coworkers.
Taking a break during their day to enjoy a drink and talk with others is a coveted diET
escape. Busy Buddies consume one to two sparkling beverages every day. Coca–Cola dEvOTEd
acts as a moment of comfort and relaxation during this segments active lifestyle.
Busy Buddies make up 20 percent of all Millennials.
8 SiTuaTiON aNaLySiS
Our proprietary brand performance model illustrates how we will meet both
campaign objectives of:
• Increasing Millennial favorite brand rating by 3 percentage points
• Increasing Millennial consumption by 3 percentage points
Our model’s first gear (Brand Health) addresses the “favorite brand rating objective.”
We place priority on brand health because without a strong and compelling brand
you are left to increase consumption by price discounting.
We will position Coca–Cola as highly relevant and engaging to the Millennial
market using advertising, media, public relations, event marketing, social networking,
retail activiation, and cause branding, which we call “connections.” This strengthened
brand position will drive greater consumption of Coca–Cola.
The second gear (Brand Consumption) addresses the “brand incidence objective.”
“When you are able to create
Event promotions, contests and other incentives will supplement our brand health
initiatives and drive increased target consumption and loyalty.
brands that people believe in, you
also create groups of people who
feel that they belong.”
Patrick Hanlon, Primal Branding
Establish Coke as an integral part of our target’s social lives.
When speaking to Millennials, it is essential to present messages they can relate to.
Our executions meet them where they are instead of asking them to come to us
by seamlessly integrating Coca-Cola into their lives. Coca-Cola provides a means
for the brand to be used in their existing lifestyles, and shows television executions
where Coca-Cola exists in archetypal situations.
adapted CommuniCation aRChiteCtuRe
We have adapted the current Coca–Cola communication architecture to better
reflect the personality and lifestyle of our target. The adapted communication
architecture utilizes language and ideas tailored to our Millennial market while
maintaining the integrity of the current architecture.
10 cREaTivE STRaTEGy
Coke is an uplifting part of your favorite shared experiences.
Our communications will:
•Show Coke in engaging, archetypal situations
•Create a sense of community around the brand
•Remain true to the image and reputation of the Coke brand
Coca-Cola is the world’s most valuable brand, and the uplifting tones and themes of
our work maintain the integrity of the brand. Rather than altering the brand image
so it appeals to Millennials, we are exhibiting how it already does.
It is imperative for Coca-Cola to be where Millennials are. In commercial executions,
this means presenting situations where Coca-Cola happens to exist, rather than
creating social situations centered around the brand. Our non-traditional executions
exist in physical and virtual locations central to Millennials coming together. They
foster social connection and provide unique links between friends. Every execution
is designed to make Coca-Cola an uplifting part of their social lives, allowing Millen-
nials to associate the brand with times of social connection.
While our creative work is humorous and real on the surface, it carries underlying
themes of social goodwill, inclusiveness, and belonging. We have found these values
are central to multicultural youth. This is how Millennials see the world. This is their
Coke Side of Life.
cREaTivE STRaTEGy 11
CoRe ConneCtions stRateGies
Youth First Our connections engage the 13–24 age demographic exclusively. In order
to be relevant, Coca–Cola must connect with Millennials during the social moments
that define their lives. Promotions or media buys that fail to exclusively connect
CoCa–Cola ConneCtions would not resonate in the same perception-changing way.
Integration Each of our implementations invite members of our target to further
Our media selections, advertising, public relations activities, and promotional participate with the brand by providing value at each touch point in the Coca–Cola
programs function seamlessly to create an uplifting brand experience and bring a brand experience. It is not enough to simply drive traffic to our Website. We have
relationship mindset to every part of our plan. This plan is integrated. Traditional silos taken the next step by making the advancement of brand experience and social
are eliminated. connection an important qualification for inclusion in our plan.
We aim to connect with our target in meaningful, engaging ways. Every touch point Timing We have timed our connections schedule to coordinate with Millennials
with our target is an opportunity to improve “brand health” and in turn increase moments of social connection in order to integrate into their lives in a non-intru-
consumption. We have built a plan based on these “connections.” These principles sive way. To remain consistently relevant, we will provide social value at staggered
drive our new approach to connecting with Millennials. intervals throughout the year.
•Increase the relevance of the Coca–Cola brand to Millennials
•Integrate the brand into the lives of our target during moments of
•Provide social value for our target
Many Millennials consider Coca–Cola to be the drink of their parents. Because of
this mindset, any advertising or marketing effort will be considered through this lens,
making acceptance into their lives unlikely. Changing this perception is absolutely
essential to engage this target and make the values of Coca–Cola a relevant part of
We will purchase national television advertising space on networks primarily reach-
ing our targets including MTV, the CW, and extreme sports programming on ESPN
2. Our television will primarily occur early in our plan to unveil, on a big stage, our
Geography Our connections plan is national in scope because Millennials, regardless commitment to creating social value for our target. Further, the partnerships and
of location or ethic diversity, readily identify with each other. Despite a wide variety collaborations created in this buy will provide relevant and interesting content for
of backgrounds, young people are defined first by their youth. This is such a strong other points of connection including streaming downloads.
bond that we are able to connect with and unite Millennials across the country in We address Millennials directly by using archetypal situations with which they can
an efficient way. widely and readily identify. Our executions avoid stereotypes and put forth situations
Some campaign elements better lend themselves to local executions. To determine where Coca–Cola has an important and uplifting effect on a social situation. The
whichmarkets to target, we used a weighted formula that accounted for the 13–24 content of our work captures life’s best social experiences and is unique to our age
population of the region, ethnicity, and average consumption statistics. The 20 mar- group. These defining moments are Coca–Cola-specific times when only an iconic
kets with the highest ratings are our hubs for select events and promotions. brand like Coca–Cola could create uplift.
Measurement Our connection touch points have the capacity to connect with When we chose the stories and situations for our ads, we looked for the intersec-
a significant number of our target audience members and immerse them in the tion of “real” and “uplifting.” Real means our ideas are believable and authentic. It
Coca–Cola brand experience. Consequently, our media plan will not be a traditional tells our target that they are being understood and spoken with directly. Uplifting
plan based on reach or frequency. Rather, our media will maintain a consistent, means our creative inspires “happiness inside” and fosters associations within our
relevant presence in our target’s lives by being available in their lives on their terms. target between Coca–Cola and the best parts of their life. Coca–Cola plays an art-
Making an impactful connection is the essence of our campaign, and its success will fully heroic role in our work, enhancing social connections and creating a sense of
be based on those connections. community around the brand.
paRty foul :30/:60. (t.v., Cinema, online) Production notes
[pär–te¯·faul] When someone spills or breaks something at a party (often Theme Coca–Cola enhances social connection.
resulting in a mess, general spectacle, or embarrassment)1 Tone Funny and sweet.
Commercial Idea A shy boy uses Coca–Cola to seize an opportunity to Casting Diverse cast conveys themes of inclusiveness.
approach a girl at a party. Music “You Know What” by Craig David. Hip–hop beat and rhythm enhance
associations of Coca–Cola with emotional uplift.
1. 2. 3. 4.
SHY BOY is at a party, standing ner- GIRL is standing near the beverage A party goer gets a Coca–Cola from Embarrassed she frantically be-
vously and alone, drinking a Coca– table, alone and drinking a bottle of the table and he bumps GIRL as she gins to clean her shirt. SHY BOY
Cola and uncomfortably checking out Coca–Cola, there isn’t much left. is taking a drink of her Coca–Cola, notices this, turns away and spills his
GIRL from across the room. spilling what is left of it on her shirt. Coca–Cola on himself.
5. 6. 7. 8.
He begins to walk towards GIRL, As he nears her, she notices him and
grabbing her a new Coca–Cola on the spill on his shirt. Realizing that Description of the commercial An awkward boy is drinking Coca–Cola at a party
the way. she is now not the only one with a and sees an attractive girl, but lacks the confidence to talk to her. When he sees her
Coca–Cola stain, she smiles. accidentally spill Coca–Cola on her shirt, he takes his bottle and discreetly spills on
himself. He approaches her, and her embarrassment is relieved when she sees his
stain. She smiles as he offers her a new bottle of Coca–Cola and they share a laugh
Game on :30/:60 (t.v., Cinema, online) Production notes
[ga¯m än] A phrase said before preparing to engage in a competitive event. 1 Theme Coca–Cola enhances social connection. Coca–Cola is an integral part of
Commercial Idea A group of young adults are competing in a spirited match of the
popular game foosball. Casting Diverse cast conveys themes of inclusiveness.
Music “Foosball Man” original composition by David Sandler reinforces themes
and is a sure smile. Upbeat music reinforces associations of emotional uplift
1. 2. 3. 4.
Close up on an intense game of There is a group of players, each We hear a noise of the goalie break- A quick thinking girl sees a solution
foosball. bursting with competitive spirit. ing. One player says “You killed the and quickly drinks the rest of her
goalie” and another quickly declares Coca–Cola.
“Game over.” All are disappointed.
5. 6. 7. 8.
She tapes the empty Coca–Cola There is loud cheering as the inten-
bottle in the goalie position. She sity of the game picks back up with Description of the commercial A group of young adults are drinking Coca–Cola
declares “Game on,” and the game the new goalie. Coca–Cola has saved and competing in a spirited game of Foosball. The good times appear to have ended
resumes. (Cue in music- Foosball Man”) the game. when the goalie is shattered in a fluke shot. “Game over” is declared. After consoling
herself with the rest of her Coca–Cola, a quick–thinking player sees that the shape
of her bottle has a striking resemblance to that of the Foosball players. She quickly
finishes her Coke and duct–tapes the empty bottle in place of the goalie. Coke hero-
ically restores the good times as “Game on” is declared.
Copy testinG summaRy
Objective To understand the potential impact of our new Coca-Cola commercials
Research Design Chariot conducted one-on-one interviews with Millennials, show-
ing each respondent both “Party Foul” and “Game On.” Specifically, we wanted to
understand the following:
•Millennials’ interpretation of the brand message
•The degree to which Millennials view these spots as “uplifting” and “endearing”
•The impact on Millennials’ attitudes towards Coca–Cola
Findings Respondents reacted extremely favorably towards both commercials. They
readily saw the commercials as examples of Coca–Cola playing a uplifting role in
social situations. They saw the situations as real and representative of their lifestyle.
When asked about their perception of “Party Foul,” respondents felt the ads com-
municated acceptance and valiance.
•“That’s so sweet.”
•“If that was me, I’d be so glad someone was being awkward with me.” “Forward-thinking brands
•“I should try that sometime!” will not only connect with
When asked about their perception of “Game On,” respondents identified themes consumers but will connect
of belonging and ingenuity.
consumers with each other.”
•“This totally reminds me of me and my friends.”
•“Awesome!” 7 Trends to Watch in 2007
•“That song is hilarious.”
When asked about their perception of Coca–Cola after viewing the commercials,
respondents thought the commercials were a perfect fit for the Coca–Cola brand
•“That’s perfect, he wouldn’t have handed her anything but a Coke.”
•“It’s like Coke was the hero. It saved the game.”
soCial ConneCtoRs: teChnoloGy Coke/EA GameZone Coca–Cola will partner with EA games and Microsoft, both
leaders in their industry, to create a gaming environment for Connected Caffeinators
Our target market is incredibly media savvy. They embrace new technologies with
unlike anything they have experienced before. Through these partnerships, we will
open arms and are eager to utilize them in exciting ways. Our technology programs
supply downloadable game patches for popular EA titles such as Madden, NCAA
harness cutting edge media developments in such a way that each medium will
March Madness, and The Sims to enhance their gaming experience. Users will form
enhance our target’s moments of connection and provide them with the social
collaborative teams and play online through Xbox Live against other formed teams.
cache that comes with a mastery of the latest and hippest technologies.
For achieving certain in–game feats, users will be instantly rewarded with
We aim to reach a contemporary audience through contemporary media. Flash MyCokeRewards points that they can consistently monitor and redeem during play.
banner advertising and typical viral video placement will soon lack the impact they We will also provide features enabling inter–game communication.
once had. Our technology implementations represent our dedication to only the
newest developments in media. We will create customized connecting programs
unique to Coca–Cola that will resonate with our target and will drive them to seek
out these connectors. Here are some programs we envision.
My Coke Connector Mobile social CokeTunes 6–pack We will leverage our partnership with iTunes to provide the
networking is becoming integral in newest component for fostering connection on the social networking system
the interactive lifestyles of Millenni- Facebook. Facebook users can share uploads of their favorite artists’ songs on their
als. Coca–Cola will foster social con- friends’ user profiles. The most recent six songs shared will be displayed on users’
nectivity by partnering with GPS technol- profiles and will create a link between sender and receiver. This will enhance a criti-
ogy provider Dodgeball to offer Millennials cal component of social currency in our target’s lives, and will result in a
a unique GPS service, My Coke Connector. music–driven network facilitating exploration and experimentation.
Through their phones, friends will be able to locate
and instant message each other, pick a hangout spot, or
find the nearest place to grab a Coca–Cola. The software will
be available on the MyCoke Website.
72932988/Joel Sartore/Getty Images
soCial ConneCtoRs: events
The single most important part of Millennials’ lives is time spent with their friends,
whether attending a concert, catching a movie, or just “hanging out.” This is their
time to be content with themselves and their peers. We want Coca–Cola to not
only be a part of these connections, but go a step further by enhancing social
We learned Millennials have been bombarded with so many advertisements that they
have become resistant to typical advertising messages. Traditional sponsorships are
often ineffective, if not unwelcome. Our events are much more strategic. Coca–Cola
will not merely be the host or sponsor, but will provide our target with engaging
moments of social connection and will become an accepted part of their lives.
Coke/MTV “MyStory” Contest Coca–Cola will partner with MTV to sponsor a
promotional contest that combines Millennials’ love for music with their desire for
self–expression. The contest will award a winner the opportunity to pair with a
popular music artist to write and record a song telling their story. To enter, Millenni-
als will submit video applications on mycoke.com/mystory to tell their unique story
and justify why it should be told. A selected group of contestants’ profiles will then
be posted at mycoke.com, where visitors will vote for the best story. The winning
song will be performed by the artist at MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs). MTV will
run an exclusive broadcast detailing the winner’s experience during the production
and execution process, to be aired prior to the VMAs.
Text 2 Screen (T2S) We will reconfigure and utilize current promotional theater
efforts of Coca–Cola in a way that is more relevant to Millennials by implement-
ing Text 2 Screen technology in theaters. Friends can interact with each other in a
novel way by sending text messages for display on the screen prior to the movie.
This new technology has been used previously at select concerts and generated an
overwhelmingly positive response from our target. T2S will accompany the premiers
of 2008 blockbuster movies aimed at our target, including: Step Brothers, The Dark
Knight, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This will be promoted on the
redesigned lids distributed on movie theater cups.
“Mobile devices are the
lynchpin of community and
connectedness for youth.”
Truly, Madly, Deeply Engaged
Coke Factories We will create a new breed of Coca–Cola vending machine called My Coke Campus Kits By distributing My Coke Campus Kits, Coca–Cola will
Coke Factories. Our Coke Factories feature a transparent design, allowing our target foster social connection for college students at a prime time: the beginning of fall
to view the inside of the machine. The Coke Factories have the ability to bottle eight semester. In each kit there will be a campus map highlighting social spots, and
ounce glass and twenty ounce plastic bottles before our target’s eyes. Our Factories various items including:
feature an LCD touch screen promoting relevant events and offer Bluetooth down- •Bag of microwave popcorn
loads that will provide tremendous social currency for our target through music or
ringtones. We will also provide interactive gaming displays with motion sensing input •Video rental coupons
from the technological consulting firm, Accenture. These features will entertain and •Prepaid card for free Coca–Cola (See MyCokeRewards Card)
engage our target by integrating their interests with the Coca–Cola brand.
•Coca–Cola branded whiteboard
Initially, Coke Factories will be placed near movie theaters and arcades in malls. •Promotional material for upcoming Coca–Cola sponsored events
These Factories will then become mobile, appearing at events and locations that
appeal to our target, such as concerts. Coke Factories will attract and intrigue our •Campus specific coupons for events or other proximal businesses
target, and will engage them in way that no vending machine has before.
Coke SideStage Music and friends play important roles in the lives of Millennials.
Coca–Cola will combine the two in a unique concert series. In our top 20 cities, we
will broadcast a series of live musical performances in small, trendy nightclub loca-
tions for sold out shows. Branded Coca–Cola SideStage, this series would provide an
intimate and high–energy environment, endorsing social connection. SideStage tickets
will be available through local radio DJ promotions.
soCial ConneCtoRs: Cause bRandinG
Tolerance Centers Thirty–five years ago Coca–Cola asked the world to sing in
perfect harmony. This youth–targeted invitation asked people to come together and
set their differences aside. This ideal has never been more important than it is today.
We have found the 21st century expression of a world in harmony. It is through
the emergence of tolerance centers throughout the United States and the world
promoting understanding of different backgrounds. Tolerance centers feature exhib-
its, programming, and lectures aimed at youth with the sole purpose of promoting
tolerance and understanding. We recommend Coca–Cola take a lead position by
becoming the first brand to sponsor tolerance centers.
Tolerance centers, such as the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and The New
York Tolerance Center, are opening throughout the United States and around the
world in Northern Ireland, South Africa, Israel, Mexico, Chile, Canada, Holland, and
France to promote better understanding between persons of different racial
backgrounds, color, national or ethnic origins, and religions.
There is no group of consumers that feels more strongly about
cause branding than Millennials. The 2006 Cone Millennial Cause
Study showed that 74 percent of Millennials are more likely to
pay attention to a company’s messages if the company has a
deep commitment to a social cause. They are prepared to
reward or punish a company based on its emphasis on
cause branding efforts. The Coca–Cola brand has always
represented a common bond among people; through
these centers Coca–Cola will help further that bond.
The broad diversity of our target makes understanding
and tolerance perfect causes for Coca–Cola.
Tolerance Center Badge Whether hanging off their backpack, car keys, or dorm keys,
Coca–Cola will be the lead sponsor of educational Millennials are constantly using key chains in their daily lives. To encourage Millenni-
programming and social activities advocating toler- al’s support for tolerance centers, Coca–Cola will distribute white metal key chains
ance, as well as contribute to the funding for additional in the shape of a puzzle piece with subtle silver text of the word “Tolerate.” The
centers. The Website mycoke.com/tolerate will provide puzzle pieces will be manufactured in a way such that they can fit into each other,
direct links to centers’ websites, in addition to highlight- making the badge both foster social connection and represent tolerance. In nature, if
ing volunteer opportunities and upcoming events. To build all colors of light are shone on one point, our eyes see the color white, the combina-
connections among Millennials, MyCokeRewards will also tion of all colors. This will be representative of the tolerance centers, where people
allow members to put reward points towards a donation to of all races, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds can come together.
support opening and existing centers.
We will utilize traditional media forms in fresh new ways to create excitement Personality Radio Promotions Coca–Cola will team up with Top–40 radio stations
around our holistic branding effort. We call these connection drivers. They will bring to air promotions in our top 20 cities. We will use personality radio to provide infor-
attention to the social value our campaign provides. Connection drivers will operate mation about our promotions, including Coke SideStage. Using popular DJs gives our
on a local level and will connect with our target in a way that is exclusively theirs. message a credible third party endorsement from a source Millennials already trust.
MyCokeRewards Card Millennials, often labeled “Generation Plastic”, spends 50 My Coke Side of Life Coca–Cola will create a brand new section in college news-
percent more at vending machines that accept credit cards. By 2009, more than half papers facilitating social connection on campus. This novel section is strategically
of all vending machines will have a cashless option. Coca–Cola Classic will part- placed within the papers and will run weekly. Entertaining stories and anecdotes will
ner with MasterCard, offering MyCokeRewards members the chance to obtain a be submitted online and selected by each paper’s editor under Coca–Cola’s advise-
MyCokeRewards card. This card can be used to access members’ MyCokeRewards ment. This inserts Coca–Cola as a regular part of our target’s routine, providing a
accounts and serve as a prepaid option for purchase. To capitalize on our target’s vehicle for sharing stories with their peers. This section can also be used to promote
desire for instant gratification, they will be rewarded with MyCokeRewards points Coca–Cola–sponsored events.
for each card use. Mastercard will produce a commercial indicative of their “Price-
less” campaign, marrying Coca–Cola’s brand imagery with Mastercard’s execution to
promote this collaboration.
aCtivation Point–of–purchase programs will be introduced in two locations: supermarkets
Packaging Superbowl Launch and vending machines.They will be designed to activate retail purchase as well as
Always looking for an excuse to reinforce brand health.
spend time together, Millennials
seize the opportunity to gather
over food, football, and friends on Grocery Stores: My Coke Label Maker In grocery stores across the country,
Superbowl Sunday. Coca–Cola will Coca–Cola will place a point–of–purchase display at the end of the beverage aisle
spark early buzz by incorporating called the My Coke Label Maker. At these stations, there will be mini photo–booths.
electronic paper displays (EPD) Millennials can take pictures together that will print out on labels which can be put
into the packaging for the two on label–less six–packs that will be placed next to the display. This will foster social
weeks prior to Superbowl XLII. The connection through shared experience and consumption, as well as instantly person-
animated labels will be manufac- alize their Coca–Cola.
tured by E–Ink Corporation, which
Coca–Cola has already teamed
with for point–of–purchase adver-
tising at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Instead of asking Millennials to pay
attention to another advertisement,
Coca–Cola will bring a magical
element to their party with an
animated, moving label on cases of
Coca–Cola. Distributing these new
packages to the top 20 cities will
provide an innovative way to launch
the 2008 Coca–Cola campaign.
Vending: Coke Factory Point–of–Purchase efforts through vending will be realized
in the Coke Factory (see page 22) vending machines. We will implement non–tradi-
tional media into the malls that have My Coke Factory vending. We will strategically
place high–definition video projection systems to attract Millennials to the Coke
Factory vending machines. These displays utilize freeform three–dimensional images
whose high resolution and quality make them remarkably real. We will use them
to display the treasured Coca–Cola polar bear and penguin. These icons will come
together and admire the newest Coca–Cola creation. This will increase traffic to the
Coke Factories and ignite social connections.
The consumer’s experience at vending machines will also be enhanced through the
partnership with MasterCard, giving Millennials the ability to purchase a Coca–Cola
with their credit card.
MyCokeRewards We have found most Millennials are unfamiliar with the
MyCokeRewards loyalty program. MyCokeRewards simply does not connect with
Millennials effectively. We want to preserve MyCokeRewards, but alter the
rewards and executions to become more relevant to our target. The MyCokeRe-
wards program will also be a connecting point for other aspects of our campaign,
and develop new features to create a more engaging experience. “Youth freely intertwine
In order to provide an additional channel for MyCokeRewards distribution to their media and technological
Millennials, we will issue a rewards code on movie theater fountain beverages. There
will be a circular piece of cardboard fixed on the top of the cup lids with a straw experiences, creating something
hole. The cardboard will have a MyCokeRewards code on the top, and will addition-
ally direct the consumer to mycoke.com/Rewards. To satisfy Millennials’ need for new and entirely personal.”
instant gratification, we recommend the reintroduction of under–the–cap instant
win promotions. This will also give new life to MyCokeRewards as caps that are not
instant winners will continue to provide a MyCokeRewards point code. We will add
Truly, Madly, Deeply Engaged
prize options that are more attainable and relevant to our target. The prizes will be
primarily partnership contributions such as EA video games, free iTunes, or concert
We will also provide new uses for MyCokeRewards points such as:
•The ability to transfer points to a friend’s account to encourage collaboration
and accumulation of points
•The ability to transform points into a donation to our cause branding efforts
•The ability to accumulate value from points onto the MyCokeRewards Card for
use in cashless vending machines
“The most important rule in
Webpage design is to eliminate
unnecessary design.” online RefReshment
Ninety-two percent of our survey respondents said that online sources are an “im-
Vincent Flanders, New York Times portant or very important” method to connect with their friends. Given the growing
popularity of the Internet as a medium for social connection, Coca–Cola’s Web pres-
ence becomes of critical importance.
To optimize the online brand experience for our target we will:
• Position the mycoke.com Website to resonate with our target and will use and
develop Coca–Cola’s current online assets in a way that is relevant to them
• Implement new online activities that will increase social connectivity for our
target and will provide them with social currency and entertainment
• Adjust Coca–Cola’s current web branding to reflect an understanding of
Millennials by avoiding a misaligned presence
mycoke.comThe mycoke.com Website currently lacks a firm understanding of New Artist Downloads Because of the importance of new music in Millennials’ lives,
Millennials. This is shown by: there will be special attention given to making new artist downloads accessible
•Containing too much flash, which increases download time for our target through mycoke.com. With the aid of the MTV TrendWatching team, we will be
whose attention span is notoriously short better able to anticipate fresh artists.
•Using avatars appealing to a pre–teen audience that Coca–Cola has responsibly My Coke Scene Coca–Cola will partner with CitySearch.com to build mycoke.
decided not to communicate with com/scene targeting the interests and lifestyle of our target. Users will be linked to
unique sites for their city or zip code, where they will receive up–to–date informa-
•Showing naivety through improper use of Millennials’ lifestyles and language tion on restaurants, clubs, music, shows, movies, shopping, benefits, and social events.
•Being fragmented and difficult to navigate Users can post events and personal recommendations through an online forum.
The forum will engage users in a discussion about the happenings in their area and
Our goal is to develop an all–encompassing Website from the existing mycoke.com provide information as a source of social currency for our target. Forum users will
that unifies all Web branding activities and micro sites. It is necessary to establish an register with a user name and will have the ability to create a network of users with
integrated system to make the Websites relevant, recognizable, and reflective of our similar interests. The site will offer opt–in e–mail notifications when contacts make
target. new posts on the forum. In addition, users can create a linkable profile of personal
StumbleUpon StumbleUpon is an up–and–coming online content generator. We interests, such as music or sporting events.
will partner with StumbleUpon.com by placing their video randomizer on mycoke.
com. This will provide social value for Millennials and will increase the stickiness of
mycoke.com. Additionally, our television spots will be posted through StumbleUpon,
which has a reputation for initiating viral video buzz.
Concept testing has been conducted to ensure our campaign communicates its
key messages as intended, but Chariot’s efforts will not end with the launch of
“Together.” To monitor the impact of the campaign on Millennials’ perceptions
and consumption of Coca–Cola, we will use the following brand discovery tools:
•Online focus groups
•Real time surveys
•Instant feedback creative testing
•Consumer brand communities
•Net Promoter Score tracking
•Consumer Generated Content analysis
•Social Network analysis
•MTV TrendWatch partnership
These tools will discover emerging trends to apply in future communication efforts,
as well as continually monitor the effectiveness of the campaign and provide insight
to evolve with our consumers.
All production costs included in listed price except noted commercial cost
Coca–Cola has challenged Chariot to deliver an integrated marketing campaign that Sources
increases brand health and brand consumption. Through our extensive research and Books: Best Customers–Demographics of Consumer Demand, Positioning: The
key findings, we have identified the most opportune target segments and created a Battle for Your Mind, A New Brand World, The Copy Workshop, The 22 Immutable
framework for effective brand messaging. Laws of Branding, Differentiate or Die, Truth, Lies, and Advertising, Lovemarks: The
Future Beyond Brands, Advertising Campaign Planning, Alternative Advertising, Media
Our “Together” campaign will deeply engage Millennials and establish Coca–Cola Week: Marketer’s Guide to Media, Juicing the Orange, Hitting the Sweet Spot, Primal
as an integral part of their social lives. An essential characteristic of the Coca–Cola Branding
brand personality is the unique role it plays in uplifting social connections. We
understand togetherness and belonging defines uplifting experiences in the lives Websites: www.coca–cola.com, www.pepsi.com, www.mountaindew.com, www.face-
of Millennials. book.com, www.mastercard.com, mcr.us.icoke.com, www.mycoke.com, www.mtv.
com, www.wiesenthal.com, www.easports.com, www.drpepper.com, www.census.
Each touch point in our campaign is integrated into the lives of Millennials and gov, www.eyeliner3d.com, www.mintel.com, www.epnet.com, www.beverage–digest.
provides them with social value that will strengthen their relationship with the com, www.youtube.com, www.myspace.com, www.adage.com, www.brandweek.com,
Coca–Cola brand. We will make Coca–Cola an exciting and relevant component of www.mediaweek.com, www.newmediamusings.com, www.adverlab.blogspot.com,
our target’s lives. www.ypulse.com
We will turn your goals into reality and your ideas into market share.Your journey People:Vanessa Hambidge, Ryan Spicer, Kivalena Starr, Julia Hobbs Kivistik, Luis Fitch
into the lives of Millennials begins with Chariot.
Publications: Advertising Age, Adweek, Brandweek, Media Week, Media, Business
Week, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Star Tribune,
Truly, Madly, Deeply Engaged:Yahoo/OMD Study,Vending Times
Resources: MRI, Simmons Market Research, SRDS, LexisNexis, Nielsen Media Re-
search, Mintel Market Reports, Business Source Premier
pResidents the CoCa–Cola
Brandon Miller ConneCtions team
Matt Nyquist Melissa Billitteri
Alicia Looney Toni Bonini
speCial thanKs Claire Dalton
John Eighmey Carina Enbody (leader)
Luis Fitch Jennifer Hathaway
Vanessa Hambidge Theresa Henke
Earl Herzog Amanda Issacson
Jennifer Johnson Libby Issendorf
Julia Hobbs Kivistik Brian Keller
Heather Myers Dan Kunitz
John Rash Will Lenzen Jr.
Ryan Spicer Graham Lewis
Kivalena Starr Olga Leykind
Megan Stohner Jeanine Lilke
Wally Swanson Bria Lindsey
Al Tims Tiffani Lundeen
H–Dawg Nate Marholz (leader)
advisoR Annette Neist (leader)
Howard Liszt Meghan Norris (leader)
Morgan Stanford (leader)
Brenna Whisney (leader)