A Coca-Cola study has found that online buzz or chatter yields no measurable short-term sales benefit, while online display ads work about as well as TV, according to a C-C executive who spoke at the Advertising Research Foundation's Re:Think 2013 conference, reports Advertising Age.
As AA notes, this would seem a stunning admission from Coca-Cola, whose flagship brand has more Facebook fans than any other brand (61.5 million).
However, senior manager-marketing strategy and insights Eric Schmidt stressed that the finding relates only to "buzz," not sharing, video views or other aspects of social media.
Schmidt also stressed that this was a single study on a set of brands within a particular company within a certain segment of the CPG industry, and is "by no means a generalized result that applies to all industries," Ad Age reports.
He also said that Coca-Cola is now looking to refine how it measures buzz -- for instance, its real reach, not just raw, publicly-available comments on social media platforms, as well as better refining positive versus negative buzz, which C-C found to be lacking in automated/vendor-assessed analyses by one vendor.
But C-C found digital display ads to be as effective as TV in generating sales, on a per-impression basis, Schmidt said. Search was 50% as effective as TV – about the same as out-of-home – with radio coming in between TV and search and print scoring slightly more effective than TV, he reported, according to Ad Age.