Case Study: Coca-Cola uses mobile and social to get Olympic gold

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Coca-Cola launched its largest digital effort ever this year with its “Move to the Beat” campaign for the Summer Olympics across 100 countries. M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment talks through its year-long campaign for Coca-Cola, designed to bring teens closer to the London 2012 Games. This case study looks at a campaign which generated in112 million impressions around the world.

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Brand: Coca-Cola | Sector: FMCG | Objective: build brand engagement | Format: Mobile, Social Media | Agency: M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment


As the longest continuous sponsor of the Olympic Games, the Coca-Cola Company approached its London 2012 campaign with the ambition of making it the biggest Olympic Games activation in the company's 84-year partnership with the International Olympic Committee.

With the Games returning to London, the only city to have hosted the Olympic Games three times, expectations were high to deliver an event and a campaign that inspired the world, even in a global financial downturn. Coca-Cola was committed to delivering a campaign that channelled the sights, sounds, spirit and culture of this vibrant host city.

As a worldwide partner of the Olympic Games, Coca-Cola had access to a raft of assets including the opportunity for prominent placement within the Olympic Park.

Coca-Cola was closely aligned with LOCOG's vision to make London 2012 a 'Games to inspire the youth of the world'. Coca-Cola's ambition was to unlock the social side of London 2012 and bring teens closer to the Olympic Games and to sport in general. Coca-Cola aspired to take the target audience on a journey to London 2012, enhancing the Olympic Games experience for teenagers all around the world. Creating globally relevant content that would land the campaign messaging and forge an emotional connection between audience and campaign was crucial.
Movement had to be central to the campaign to align with the brand's commitment to encouraging healthy and active lifestyles.

Strategy and Implementation

Coca-Cola's strategy was to create a campaign that harnessed teen passions, specifically music, to connect with the demographic and make the Olympic Games resonate.
The Move to the Beat™ campaign was devised to appeal to a global teen audience but also, importantly, to allow flexibility for local adaptation and integration of content by markets.
The creation of content for sharing across all owned and earned social and traditional media platforms was central to the campaign strategy.

A phased PR strategy was implemented to ensure longevity and sustained buzz with the target audience. This was spearheaded by the campaign's global launch in September 2011, which saw Coca-Cola invite media and consumers behind the scenes of its TVC shoot for the first time. An exclusive first performance of the Coca-Cola track for London 2012, Anywhere In The World, was performed by Mark Ronson and Katy B against the backdrop of the Olympic stadium. The Coca-Cola athletes who had helped create the track with the sounds of their sports were also present to help bring the performance to life and bring the Olympic connection to the fore.

A documentary, Beat 2012, charting Mark Ronson's journey as he travelled the world meeting young Olympic hopefuls, recording the sounds of their sport for the track, was created for global broadcast distribution. The resulting hour-long film offered a unique insight into both the social and professional worlds of the young athletes as they prepared for the biggest competition of their lives.

Beat 2012 was offered as free-to-air content to broadcasters around the world, as well as edited into webisodes and mobisodes for online amplification. Behind-the-scenes collateral was distributed for leverage by local market PR teams.

The official launch of Anywhere in the World, in May 2012, was amplified by an exclusive with Rolling Stone online alongside a money-can't-buy Move to the Beat™ experience for consumers and media in London, which included digital and mobile sessions to drive home the social aspect of the campaign.

In another exciting first for Coca-Cola, the brand created a global television show, Coca-Cola Presents: Beat TV, to air every week night of the Olympic Games. Featuring interviews with sports stars and celebrities, live music performances and fun sporting challenges, the show aimed to connect with teens around the world and encourage them to move to the beat of London 2012. Exclusive Behind The Beat content was created and leveraged for PR and social media.

The Move To The Beat™ campaign was brought to life within the Olympic Park with the Coca-Cola BeatBox, an interactive experience that allowed visitors to 'play' the variety of sporting sounds featured in the Anywhere In The World track. Coca-Cola also continued its support of the number one spectator sport of the Games, Pin Trading. With two dedicated locations, limited edition exclusive London 2012 pins were released each day to celebrate the Games.


The Move to the Beat campaign was activated by 110 markets globally.

The Move to the Beat global launch event saw 70 global media attending resulting in 478 news and 265 broadcast hits, 136 blog posts and 709 twitter mentions. A Move to the Beat news story broadcast for 24 hours across six channels in 76 countries. 92 global media attended the Move to the Beat Experience event. 70 media interviews with Mark Ronson and Katy B supported the official release ofAnywhere in the World.

The Beat 2012 documentary broadcast on TV, online and in cinemas around the world. An exclusive screening featuring a Q&A with Mark Ronson was held for 40 select global media partners.

Coca-Cola Presents: Beat TV broadcast in over 40 countries gaining a Twitter following of 23k people in 25 days resulting in112 million impressions from 14,839 tweets and one of the best ROI on media spend seen by Twitter.

The Coca-Cola BeatBox was visited by 200,000 members of the public during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"When a brand is able to create an active connection between its brand promise and the purpose of the event, magic happens. And Move to the Beat combined the sounds of great athletes performing what they’re best at with the rising talents of young, aspiring musical and design talents to create a remarkable experience." Forbes

"Coca-Cola took the lead across all networks in numbers…Coca-Cola reigned supreme in both numbers and engagement…." Mashable

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