Brandfluence (c)

June 1, 2012

Can brown sugar water teach you a critical branding lesson? You betcha! Coca-Cola is a 35.1 billion dollar per year money making machine. They spend more on advertising than Apple and Microsoft combined ($2.9 billion). After 127 years, their know-how can help you.

David Elsworth, The Senior Vice President of Creative Strategy, Content, Marketing and New Business at Coca-Cola Japan explains, David Elsworth, VP of Coca Cola Japan and Louise KarchYou need to know the business you are in. At Coca-Cola we are not in the global refreshment business. We believe we are in the evoking happiness business… That’s a higher order place for our brand to exist and that’s what drives all of our creativity. Yes we make soft drinks but that is not what is going to make us the world’s most loved brand.”

When Elsworth poured through (pun intended) the Atlanta archives he discovered a century of Coke “rubbing against the very real and raw issues of the time.”  In 1910 it was an antidote for depression and fatigue for housewives. During the Vietnam War it was teaching ‘the world to sing in perfect harmony.’ In ’79, a time of race riots, a white boy shared his Coke with black NFL football star Joe Green.

Coke’s current brief is ‘Open happiness in a bottle.’ They created the ‘Friends Day’ Vending Machines (scaffold yourselves together to reach the high coin slot and get two for one). Soon they’ll be releasing handheld  video docudramas. A grief stricken yet proudly resilient Japanese Coca-Cola driver tells the story of delivering water right after the earthquake. This is optimism in the face of hardship, participation not isolation. Heady stuff. Heart stuff. Captivating.



Are you or your business reaching the fullest potential?

Good is no longer good enough. The goal is perfection and the path that takes us there leads to excellence.
Louise B. Karch