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Coca-Cola sharpens mobile focus to connect with teens

Coca-Cola is launching its first all-digital campaign with mobile playing a major role in how the soda giant connects with teenagers.

With mobile as a main platform in how teenagers access the Internet, Coca-Cola?s new campaign is aimed at serving users quick, snackable pieces of content. The central hub for the ?Ahh Effect? campaign is http://www.ahh.com/.

"Considering the statistics of teenagers that are on mobile 80 percent of their time, with the statistic that teenagers use social, text and other means of communication and not email ? using mobile to target this demographic is critical for reach," said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

"Without adding mobile to marketing for a brand like Coke would be detrimental," she said.

Ms. Troutman is not associated with Coca-Cola. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Coca-Cola did not respond to press enquiries.

Teen target
The site includes pieces of content and games that are each linked to a specific URL.

To play off of the Ahh theme, each piece of content has a different number of h?s in the URL.

For instance, one microsite features an ice toss game where users are instructed to catapault ice cubes into a moving soda cup. The URL for the game is http://www.ahhhhhhhhhh.com/.

Additionally, another game called ?Small Can Big Hand? encourages consumers to spot the differences between regular-sized and miniture cans of Coca-Cola through a series of six pictures where users have to pick which size of Coca-Cola is featured.

Other examples of content that consumers are encouraged to interact with include GIFs and videos.

Social plays a big role in how Coca-Cola is promoting the marketing effort. Calls-to-actions at the end of games encourage consumers to share content via Facebook and Twitter.

Coca-Cola is also leveraging media partners such as Alloy, Facebook and Twitter that fit the core demographic of the campaign.

Additionally, the site will be promoted via calls-to-action on Coca-Cola 16 and 20-once products.

According to Coca-Cola, there will eventually be 61 sites linked to unique content associated with the campaign.

Currently, only 17 of the sites are live with the goal of turning the campaign into a multi-year initiative. Coca-Cola is turning to its Facebook and Twitter followers to encourage ideas for future content. 

Past initiatives
Coca-Cola is no newbie to mobile. The company has increasingly turned to its consumers in the past few years to create crowdsourced marketing content.

For example, Coca-Cola?s television spot for this year?s Super Bowl had a big digital component that encouraged consumers to vote from three possible endings to a commercial via a microsite (see story).

Additionally, during the 2012 Super Bowl, the brand ran a campaign across social, TV and mobile screens to let users follow along with the iconic Coca-Cola bears in real-time while watching the game. The initiative also tied into Coca-Cola?s Arctic Home campaign to encourage donations to the World Wildlife Fund to help save polar bears (see story).

"Teenagers are an all-digital demographic, so having an all-digital approach to reach them is an extremely smart move on the part of Coke," Ms. Troutman said.

"Coke really is embracing the digital age, other brands should take note and ensure they also are incorporating digital so that they don?t start to lose major chunks of consumers that are moving faster than brands on adaption of digital," she said.

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