Coke. Ideas vs. Menus


coke and bottle logo

It may date this blogger, but I still believe Coca-Cola is one of the world’s greatest brands.  At McCann-Erickson in the 90s when the editing floors echoed with the best commercial music extant, Coke’s TV spots were the envy of the business. Then the tea and water craze came about, sales slipped and agency roulette began. Frankly, it had a severe impact on the McCann brand, but that’s a story for another day.

One of Coke’s big pushes today, to lift all Coke brands (Sprite, Minute Maid, Vitamin Water, Honest Tea, etc.), is promoting all the good it does.  Many of these efforts can be found at the “Live Positively” website.  The site has about 90 different links and, though pretty, is a disorganized mess. Too much to choose from, therefore I choose not to choose. The beauty about good advertising is, done well, it tells a simple story.  That goes for websites too. Brand sites need to be “idea based” not “menu based.”

I was reading the paper paper today and after many stories about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, came across 3 consecutive ads by Coke on its good work for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Student Scholarships, and Rails to Trails.  Nice image burnishing communications.  But menu based advertising. 

Before Coke split into 20 companies, with 500 marketing people in siloed, still-to-be-organized departments, someone smart would have said “Let’s load up one of our planes with Coke and Dasani and fly it down to Port au Prince with some ice.”  That’s “living positively.” That’s an idea. That’s refreshing. Peace!