Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coca-Cola's Newest Anti-Obesity Contributions Include Soccer Balls and Permission Marketing

The inspired altruistic work of the Coca-Cola company continues! In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, I'm talking about a beverage company that is pretending to care about fitness to be part of the "solution" to obesity and they've just announced their latest round of "help".

What sort of help?
  • Distributing thousands of "Coca-Cola soccer balls" at major sporting events.
  • Encouraging people to sign up for myCokeRewards to get a chance at winning a pedometer....and enjoy an immersive Coca-Cola centric marketing experience on their website and give Coca-Cola permission to market to them directly.
  • A new campaign calling on Americans to vote for their favourite parks so Coca-Cola can give them a grant to build something.
  • Coca-Cola "Happiness" trucks to roll through more neighbourhoods and towns to inspire people to "move to the beat"....and drink a Coca-Cola bottled beverage.


Just a few quick quotes to keep in mind as to what's in it for Coca-Cola when considering these interventions. Here's Coca-Cola's marketing chief Joe Tripodi chatting about the value of getting people voting and involved with "charitable" programs like myCokeRewards from last year's Wall Street Journal
"If we can get 40 million-plus fans, or even some subset of them talking positively about the things we’re doing, ultimately that’s a good thing for us
And by "good thing" Mr. Tripodi means sales,
"I think it’s probably a leading indicator of potential sales."
And what kind of sales does Mr. Tripodi hope for? He told CNBC in 2011,
"We want to double our business in basically a decade."
Somehow I don't think a doubling of Coca-Cola's business is going to help obesity much, do you?

Probably not soccer balls or permission marketing either.