Monday, November 23, 2009

7263: Coca-Cola Is Keeping It Real…?

Advertising Age published a lengthy report on the future marketing vision at Coca-Cola. Most interesting was the following excerpt:

Multicultural plans

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

first it was mcdonalds
now its coca-cola
Remember it wasn't too long ago that the " NAACP has sent a letter to Procter & Gamble Co. Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley and 24 other marketers previously on Advertising Age's Leading National Advertisers list asking that they "require their advertising agencies to use diverse teams in creative and account-management positions." (READ THE ENTIRE LETTER TO P&G HERE.)

Aside from P&G, letters went out to AT&T, Verizon Communications, General Motors Corp., Time Warner, Ford Motor Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Walt Disney Co., Unilever, Sprint Nextel Corp., General Electric Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Chrysler, Sony Corp., L'Oreal, Sears Holdings Corp., Kraft Foods, Bank of America, Nissan Motor Co., Macy's, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Honda Motor Co., Viacom and Berkshire."

I think clients are beginning to realize that in order to avoid embarrasement and public bashing from folks at minority organizations that they need to get with the program and at least talk about doing more for minority marketing efforts.--whatever that means, to at least show that they "care"