A PERFECT PAIRING by Starcom Shanghai for Coca-cola

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A PERFECT PAIRING

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Industry Soft Drinks
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market China
Agency Starcom Shanghai
Released April 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Branded Content
Advertiser: COCA-COLA CHINA
Product/Service: COCA-COLA
Date of First Appearance: Apr 20 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: STARCOM, Shanghai, CHINA
Group Business Director: Benny Lam (Starcom)
Negotiation Director: Irene Xie (Starcom)
Planning Manager: Grace Wu (Starcom)
IMC Director: Celine Nikolakopoulou (Starcom)
Director of Strategy North Asia: Lisa Richert (Starcom)
Group Brand Director: Lynne Lee (Leo Burnett)
IMC Director: Ronnie Zhang (Coca-Cola)
Media Director: Laura Xu (Coca-Cola)
Regional Business Director: Wayne Fan (wwwins Consulting)
IMC Manager: Jacquline Sun (Coca-Cola)
Media placement: TV Program - 27 Episodes - Zhejiang Satellite - 20/04/2009
Media placement: Shuang Map - Sohu, Dianping - 20/04/2009

Results and Effectiveness
From no recognition, “Coke goes well with Chinese Food” catapulted to 81% awareness. Coca-Cola E&D volume increased 56% vs year ago! “Coca-Cola Enjoying Food around China” ranked as #1 Food programme, achieving +60% ratings increase for that timeslot. The Coca-Cola Map saw 200 million page views and featured 6,518 “Coca-Cola served here” restaurants, generating unprecedented publicity for customers. 1.3 million consumer votes determined the top restaurant to star in the programme's finale. Coca-Cola received over $6.3 million free exposure in additional print, web and TV coverage. Moving into Year 2, Coca-Cola now owns the most premium food programme in China.

Creative Execution
Solution: A unique collaboration with China's National channel, Zhejiang Satellite, creating a tailor-made Coca-Cola primetime TV series. Part competition, travel & food and game-show, the series spoke to youth in an irreverent tone and manner, embodying fun with Coca-Cola and food. Two teams led by celebrities but composed of real consumers recruited through the iCoke website competed across China, looking for great food in restaurants. The “Coca-Cola Enjoying Food around China” series embedded the brand throughout, with product placement in eating situations, innovative branding, entertaining supers and most importantly, a starring role in how competitors received clues to overcome game challenges. “Coca-Cola served here” restaurants starred in the programme and were featured on the contestants 'Game' Map. This Map was available online on iCoke and top Chinese foodie sites. Consumers voted and suggested favourite restaurants and submitted recipes. At the series' end, a restaurant guidebook was produced and distributed through key outlets.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Coca-Cola was suffering from lack of demand in China's mid-price range Eating and Drinking (E&D) outlets. Chinese youth perceived Coke as primarily a “Western drink”, best consumed with “Western-type” foods like hamburgers. Unfortunately, as these youth looked to break out of their “only child” households and hang out with friends for food and fun, they naturally gravitated to their everyday, more affordable Chinese food outlets. Since Coke was not seen as part of this equation, even our E&D customers did not see benefits in serving Coke, driving lower Coca-Cola E&D penetration. We had to give reasons to believe that Coca-Cola goes well with Chinese Food, as a drink and as a brand, by positioning it as a key ingredient in adding fun to your meal occasions. In the end, we needed both targets to see value in the “Coca-Cola served here” proposition.