Advertising Age published a lengthy report on the future marketing vision at Coca-Cola. Most interesting was the following excerpt:
But the most significant changes appear to be in the multicultural space, which [chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola North America Katie Bayne] said will be a core focus for the company in the U.S. by 2020. Already, multicultural consumers account for 33% of all of Coca-Cola’s U.S. volume, and given the population growth occurring in this country, by 2020, those consumers will make up 40% of U.S. volume.
“Our multicultural plans are now 12-month plans. It is no longer Hispanic heritage month followed by Cinco de Mayo,” Ms. Bayne said. “We have a deep connection through the World Cup with Hispanic males and through the novelas with Hispanic females.”
The company is also embracing a 12-month strategy for African-American consumers. “We’re really focusing on moms. Moms lead the decisions in this segment of the population, even more than others, so we’re really focusing on her,” Ms. Bayne said. “Also, [we’re] celebrating the historically black colleges and universities, Black History Month and connecting over music.”
It is plenty peculiar that Coca-Cola executives are suddenly recognizing things that they have technically known for decades. After all, the soft drink company has been producing advertising with multicultural agencies since at least the 1970s. This all seems like a continuation of strange revelations presented earlier this year here and here.
Equally disturbing is the admission that minority audiences have not typically received year-round interest from Coke. And now audiences can look forward to Latino ads featuring soccer and novelas, while Black ads hype HBCUs, Black History Month and music. Yippee.
Given that Dan Wieden, head of Coca-Cola’s lead White agency, confessed he employs White, middle-class kids to hijack minority cultures, it should be fun to see who handles the upcoming Coke work targeting Latinos and Blacks.