“Gold is a feeling anyone can taste.”
The Coca-Cola Company recently launched a new campaign by the name of #ThatsGold for the Olympics being hosted this year, replacing the much used, ‘Open happiness’ tagline which debuted seven years ago. This marketing strategy is adopted by Coke’s ‘one-brand’ marketing strategy to unite beverages such as Diet Coke and Coke Zero in a single campaign.
Muhtar Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, says: “New ideas can circle the globe in an instant. That’s why Coca-Cola boasts six Research & Development Centers.” This statement concretely highlights how innovation is the key element in Coca-Cola’s strategy.
On the other hand, Coca-Cola has been the Olympics largest corporate partner till date whereby the first sponsorship was back in 1928. The beverage continues to help share experiences of athletes and fans from all over the world, uniting them with the thrill of the games and the taste of a chilled Coca-Cola. A television audience of 3.6 billion is expected to sit down and enjoy the greatest sporting show on earth, which opens in Rio de Janeiro on the fifth of August, but the PR campaigns for the biggest Olympic sponsors began long ago.
Coca-Cola’s association with the Olympic Games began 88 years ago, when the drink was first offered to the spectators and the athletes and till date, is one of the most famous sponsors in the list. It is believed that the "feeling of joy and happiness" that comes with topping an Olympic podium can also be experienced from drinking the world’s most famous soda.
"There's something that's so powerful about the Olympics. It brings together experiences of mutual understandings, friendships, solidarity, togetherness, inclusion and equality," said Ivan Pollard, Senior Vice President, strategic marketing at Coca-Cola. "This year's campaign is special because it's not about watching someone win a gold medal, it's about watching their face when they do. It's exactly the same feeling you have when you teach your children to ride a bicycle, or when your son graduates from college."
On 2nd October 2009, the International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio made their first bid for the 1936 Summer Olympics, but lost to Berlin and while they made bids for the 2004 and 2012 Games as well, but failed to become a host city both times. Rio will become the first Brazilian and South American city to host the games. The event is scheduled to take place in between the dates of 5 to 21st of August, 2016 where the opening ceremony will be on the 5th of August and the closing ceremony at the latter date. The Games will take place at six locations throughout the country, with Manaus, Sao Paolo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Brasilia joining Rio as home to the 28 events in total.
An interesting thing to note is the contribution of Coca-Cola in the employment of young people from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas or slums, giving them valuable work experience in hospitality and venue operations, thus this year, is contributing to the society and economy as well.
“Coca-Cola continues to be a beacon of passion and creativity for our communities all over the world.” says Rizwan Khan, General Manager for The Coca-Cola Company in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is solicited by the fact that even in its 88th year of sponsoring the Olympics event, the same spontaneity, happiness and thrill can be witnessed in the athletes as well as the audience.
The Coca-Cola Company also tends to contribute to competition, not only in an external atmosphere, but also internally whereby individuals and teams maintain a healthy competition to excel at the workplace. The #ThatsGold campaign recently launched an employee engagement program where different employees participated in a challenge to build on the relationship with the Olympics of 2016. This involved the employees walking a number of steps, sharing their moment of feeling gold on social media and garnering votes of colleagues in their business group, thereby winning a VIP sponsored trip to visit the Olympic games of 2016 in Rio, Brazil! From Pakistan, the winners were Faisal Hashmi, Director HR, TCCEC, Pakistan and Afghanistan and Asra Farooq.
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