Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Coca-Cola powers up American Idol sponsorship with mobile, social

Coca-Cola is leveraging mobile and social in a campaign that appeals to tech-savvy fans of Fox's American Idol to create a song for musician Carly Rae Jepsen.

The soda giant?s ?Perfect Harmony? program is a eight week-long campaign that lets consumers pick all of the elements of a performance from Ms. Jepsen. Coca-Cola is steadily carving out a marketing strategy with these types of campaigns that put the consumer in control of the brand?s message.

?Coca-Cola Perfect Harmony is a teen-focused program and teens love their mobile devices,? said Andy McMillin, vice president of Coca-Cola Trademark, Atlanta.

?So much so, that they can usually be found with one in their hand, pocket, or near-by,? he said. ?We wanted to build on this phenomenon and create the best possible Perfect Harmony experience for them, so we optimized for mobile.?

Mobile votes
The Coca-Cola campaign?s microsite ? ? is optimized for mobile devices.

Consumers can sync the site with their Facebook account to unlock content and vote in polls.

For each of the eight weeks of the show, consumers can cast their vote on different parts of Ms. Jepsen?s performance, which will take place on the May 15 season finale of American Idol.

For example, during the odd-numbered weeks of the campaigns, users can listen to sound clips to pick their favorite lyrics. During even-numbered weeks, consumers will vote on production parts of the performance, such as wardrobe or set design.

Consumers that participate in the program will be entered into a sweepstakes to win gift packs from Coca-Cola and American Idol. Additionally, one grand prize winner will win a trip to the season finale to see Ms. Jepsen perform.

Users can also view a graph that breaks down the percentage of consumers that voted for each answer via the microsite. 

To support the campaign, Coca-Cola is running a mobile advertising campaign in the Vevo iPhone application.

The banner ads direct consumers straight to the microsite with copy that reads, ?Carly Rae Jepsen needs your help."

This is the third year that Coca-Cola has used its Perfect Harmony program with American Idol.

Mobile gulp
Coca-Cola often makes mobile a staple in its marketing campaigns with microsites.

Additionally, crowdsourcing plays a big role in how Coca-Cola develops its marketing.
Most recently, the company used a microsite for its Super Bowl XLVII campaign that let users pick from three endings that were incorporated into the brand?s TV spot (see story).

Similarly, Coca-Cola banked on mobile for its 2012 Super Bowl campaign that used real-time information to change the creative in videos based on what was happening during the game (see story).

For a show such as American Idol that has a strong fan following, Coca-Cola is smart to include a mobile component to the site when consumers are using their mobile devices to stay plugged into social media.

?We expect mobile will allow for increased participation, given the second-screen phenomenon where consumers are often watching TV while using a secondary device,? Mr. McMillin said.

?Optimizing for mobile will provide consumers with the best possible experience,? he said. ?It will allow for ease of voting on the various aspects of the Perfect Harmony collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen, while watching American Idol.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York