From World Peace to the World Cup

Coca-Cola is telling local stories in APAC

Brands all over the world are facing new challenges as they aim to stand out amid a sea of digital chatter. As audiences become increasingly sophisticated, brands must raise their marketing game in order to catch the right kind of attention.

This high bar has led a number of brands and organisations to adopt new approaches to marketing. One example is the use of ‘shock marketing’ techniques to cut through the noise and create a memorable impression.

Some innovative campaigns have emerged from those efforts, not only from commercial brands such as H&M, Calvin Klein or Sisley, but also from governments – including Australia’s – hoping to promote initiatives such as public health. But brands need to be careful when leveraging shock marketing, as there’s a risk of a negative reception from target audiences.

Another popular and perhaps less risky way to create resonant marketing campaigns is by going local. This can be especially effective for global brands wishing to make headway in a new geographical or cultural setting. Making the effort to discover and craft local stories can make your brand stand out, without having to resort to shock tactics.

With any new marketing campaign, one of the best ways to mitigate risk is by monitoring audience responses, from the moment the campaign leaves the starting blocks, all the way through to the the finish line and beyond. Social listening is the key to this, providing brand managers with the ability to track and evaluate audience responses in real-time, even while a campaign is unfolding.

Armed with the power of social listening, brand managers can monitor for potential flashpoints in real-time, adjusting their messaging as necessary, while being ready to spot new opportunities as they emerge. What’s more, they can even predict the effectiveness of potential future marketing efforts. All this is made possible by social analytics combined with AI-Powered Consumer Insights.

Going local

Local stories are a great way to make sure your brand’s message gets through to target audiences. Here, we’ll explore APAC audience reactions to the world-leading Coca-Cola brand, which has been leveraging a marketing approach in the region that relies on local stories.

As part of this approach, Coca-Cola’s campaign messaging is always bilingual (English, plus the target audience’s native language) and includes locally relevant themes and figures.

One example of this is during the Trump-Kim summit in June, when Coca-Cola brought out special cans with messages about world peace printed in Korean and English.

Peaks and troughs

Since the beginning of 2018, the Coca-Cola brand has been attracting healthy discussion across much of the APAC region. Major audience hubs are located in Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, India and Australia, as shown by the darker colouring on the map.

Here we can see how the Coca-Cola discussion volume rose and fell over the course of 2018. Spikes in discussion often relate to the launch of a major marketing campaign, like the large spike at the end of April; the biggest spike of the year so far.

Boy bands and football

Let’s dig further into April/May to see what Coca-Cola was up to that month in terms of its marketing. Drilling down to a month-by-month focus and pulling out discussion keywords shows that ‘BTS’ and ‘FIFA’ feature heavily in the conversation about Coca-Cola. This makes sense, as it relates to Coca-Cola’s main marketing campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which featured the popular Korean boy band BTS.

Both the associated keywords and the sentiment analysis (below) show that the BTS campaign was well-received by most of the audience, attracting a strong level of APAC engagement.


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