Coca-Cola and the Power of Story


Vice President and Group Leader

Few brands have as storied a history as Coca-Cola and no brand understands the evolution of storytelling quite like it.

Coca-Cola of course has a well-earned reputation as a marketing innovator with landmark campaigns and global clout. For many years, traditional television advertising was the hallmark of Coca-Cola’s creative might but the media landscape has been upended in the last five years and as this video shows the company isn’t taking any of it for granted.

These days, Coca-Cola is on a mission to transform their marketing in an effort to “move from creative excellence to content excellence.”

What do they mean by this?

Well, as we learn from the video, the purpose of content excellence is to create ideas so contagious that they can’t be controlled. One early example might be the company’s iconic I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke TV spot. Everything about this commercial from the unforgettable melody to its cast of free-spirited young people was innovative. It went way beyond a campaign to become something uncontrollable.

Coca-Cola describes this phenomenon as “liquid,” a powerful state where concepts are innately linked to customers, business objectives and the marketplace. A big part of this strategy is to use “dynamic storytelling” as opposed to one-way storytelling. Coca-Cola recognizes that through the explosion in social media, consumers themselves are active participants in every brand’s story.

Audiences can be active brand ambassadors rather than passive recipients. This means allowing the story to evolve down any path as one permits the public to participate naturally.

The strategy is already effective. Coca-Cola videos have gone strongly, contagiously viral. There is a lesson here for all brands, not just ones with the enormous market power of Coca-Cola. Want to learn how your marketing message can break through? You might want to take a look at Coca-Cola.