I'd Like To Teach The World to Ping: Coke Writes The New Book On Marketing

In an age of meta data, Coca-Cola interactive marketing guru Tim Kopp used a traditional medium to make a point during Tuesday morning's session of MediaPost's OMMA conference in New York: a book. Actually, two books. The first cited by Kopp, vp of worldwide interactive marketing at Coca-Cola Co., was co-presenter Rex Briggs' new opus, "What Sticks." Kopp said it was chockful of sage advice on the new world order of integrated marketing--especially marketing that integrates digital media with analog.

Kopp used the second title, "Book on Integrated Marketing," to illustrate his and Briggs' presentation. Actually, it was a PowerPoint presentation designed to look as if Kopp and Briggs were leafing through the pages of a book--a curious choice of media for a presentation that was largely about pages of another kind: Webpages.

The heart of Kopp's message was that the shift to a digital media world, in which consumers control the flow of information, requires marketers like Coca-Cola to shift, too. It means moving from an era of classic Coke TV commercials, like "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" and "It's The Real Thing," to one in which consumers are doing most of the talking about Coke's brand.



"Whether or not we choose to be part of the dialogue, the dialogue is going to happen," Kopp said, noting that the keyword "Coke" currently generates about 80 million hits on Google. "I believe the challenge is to make it happen with us." While that doesn't necessarily mean the death of conventional forms of marketing and media, such as the 30-second TV spot, it does mean marketers must devise new ways of generating awareness.

"I would submit that 30-second ads are not dead, but what they will do is talk about products in new and more relevant ways," said Kopp. He cited two examples of commercials that didn't appear on TV, but in other platforms: movie theaters and the Internet. One of the spots, dubbed "Happiness Factory," broke in movie theaters, but ended up on YouTube. A second--a video game-like ad that featured a twist on a "Grand Theft Auto" theme, in which a thug spreads goodwill to everyone he comes in contact with--has been running for about two weeks in movie theaters. It's already generated 300,000 blog posts and is featured on the home page of Lycos in France.

"We had nothing to do with it," Kopp said of the online viral spread of Coke's new spots, although he clearly wasn't upset with the violations of Coca-Cola's copyrights.

Kopp said the next stage is having the consumer take control of Coke's brand messages themselves. While he was not explicit about how this plan might play out, he referred to examples of "challenges" Coke is making to users, involving music, sports and gaming on Coke.com. All are designed to "enable self expression" with the Coke brand.

In other words, the final chapter in the new book on integrated marketing may mean that marketers can no longer play by the book.

Next story loading loading..