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Coca-Cola expands global smartphone and tablet strategy

Coca-Cola Co. continues to roll out applications for both smartphones and tablets in various markets as a key element of its global consumer engagement strategy, a company executive revealed.

Most recently Coca-Cola created its Coke Drink application for Apple?s iPhone and the Sprite City app for the iPad. Created to showcase mobile content that engages young consumers, Coca-Cola?s objectives are for these mobile applications to serve as vital marketing, relationship-building and communication tools for the two brands. 

?We want to provide the most relevant experiences to consumers in key channels for them, and mobile is certainly one of them,? said Adriana Knackfuss, Sao Paulo, Brazil-based senior manager of consumer connections at Coca-Cola Co. ?Developing mobile applications is an important way to engage them in our key messages.
?In addition to Sprite City, we just launched the Coke Drink application for iPhone,? she said. ?The demographic targets vary according to the brand?in the case of both Sprite City and Coke Drink, we had teenagers as the main target.
?We use our own Web sites to let consumers know about [our mobile] initiatives, but using [paid] media to drive consumers to those apps is something we'll start investing more going forward. Ci&T challenged us to bring IT thinking to the idea development process, and it made a huge difference.?

Ci&T specializes in consulting, business intelligence, application outsourcing, customized application development and digital marketing services. It helped Coca-Cola create these two apps.

Sprite City, Coke Drink
Developed for Coca-Cola Brazil, Sprite City is a free game available exclusively for the iPad that promotes the soft drink to users of the Apple device.

The game challenges users to deliver Sprite to multiple locations within a city ? including bars, skating rinks and concert halls ? that are quickly consuming the soft drink.

Users earn points by successfully delivering Sprite to meet the city?s continuously increasing demand.   

The Sprite City app for iPad

As opportunities for marketing on mobile devices and apps explode, Coca-Cola has increasingly focused on the development of mobile Web sites and applications designed to harness the versatile capabilities available on the most widely used smartphone and tablet platforms on the market.

?We?ve been working with Coca-Cola Brazil for the last four years?we?re its biggest IT partner, and we?re responsible for developing all of the digital marketing campaigns they have across the Web and social networks,? said Paulo Roberto Camara, mobile services manager at Ci&T, Campinas, Brazil.

?All of the mobile initiatives Coca-Cola had in Brazil had been SMS, which is a reflection of the market, but at the end of last year Coca-Cola challenged us to come up with some ideas for mobile, with a tight timeline and a restricted budget,? he said. ?We suggested a mobile game, as they are very popular.

?The reason we chose Sprite is because it is very related to innovation, so Coca-Cola asked that we come up with an idea that showed innovation and associated the brand with this new technology, engaged people and increased brand awareness.?

Sprite City for iPad launched in January, and exceeded 40,000 downloads in two months.

Even more impressive was the uptake of the Coke Drink application for iPhone.

Launched on March 10, the Coke Drink iPhone app surpassed 300,000 downloads in one week, and Ci&T expects it to reach 500,000 downloads by the beginning of April.

App users can swipe across the Coke bottle... unleash animated graphics and messages

?The apps are very well positioned in a lot of Apple App Stores around the world,? Mr. Roberto Camara said. ?Coke Drink is the No. 1 free app in Brazil?it is really funny and really simple.

?There are banners on the Coke and Sprite Web sites in Brazil linking to the apps, but Coca-Cola is not running any special mobile ad campaign?in fact, the brand is not really promoting the application in any way.?

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