Coca Cola have long been a leading company in selling feelings and experiences, rather than just selling beverages. Their marketing strategy has been strongly tied to music and customer engagement, which has carried the company through two world wars, a depression, a global financial crisis and even an elevation in health awareness. As an international giant, they have a lot to teach the rest of us.
In 1971, Coca Cola released their ad that features the song “I’d like to teach the world to sing”, originally by the New Seekers. 44 years later, the ad appeared on the TV series Mad Men and shortly after that, the ‘Hilltop’ commercial was remastered and re-distributed as an iconic piece of American culture for the next generation. At the time of its original release in 1971, radio stations were inundated with listeners calling in to request the song.
Watch the remastered version:
The full version of the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” song was recorded by Coke’s own group, the Hillside Singers, and skyrocketed as a US hit song, selling several million records. This solidified Coke’s brand as they continue to be the leading soda company across the globe.
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As a post Vietnam War song, it’s not hard to understand why it was so popular. Coca Cola correctly evaluated their customers and addressed their wants for a united country (and world) following a conflict that lasted 20 years and several generations.
Another striking campaign presented by Coke, which is more recent, was their inclusion of people’s names on labels. The “Share a Coke” campaign consisted of placing names on Coke labels in an effort to improve customer engagement and built on customer retention through personalisation. To make the campaign even more memorable, they tied this with music. Take a look at the below ad, which targets a Spanish audience:
Needless to say that the campaign went viral.
As a result of the campaign (according to Coca Cola), the company sold over 250 million named bottles and cans in Australia. Considering Australia is made up of less than 23 million people, that is an astounding effort.
“Share a Coke” was enhanced by music and social media to create a shocking ripple effect, at least in Australia, with 12 million media impressions and a 7% increase in young adult consumption (Ogilvy).
Coke explains how they achieved this great new height of customer engagement in a quick video:
Take a leaf out of Coca Cola’s book, and find out more about the top 3 customer retention and engagement strategies that you can apply to your brand in 2016 and see the difference that music can make.