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Coca-Cola taps social influencers to highlight everyday winning moments during Olympics

Coca-Cola is joining the slew of marketers leveraging the excitement surrounding the summer Olympics by tapping global influencers to upload social media content defining their own meaningful successes and encouraging fans to join in the fun via the #ThatsGold hashtag.

The beverage marketer is introducing a multi-pronged campaign to keep consumers occupied until the start of the Rio Olympic Games this August. Coca-Cola has asked influencers ranging from musical artists, popular YouTubers and former Olympic athletes to post their own joyful stories - which the brand refers to as gold experiences - on social media via #ThatsGold and prompt fans to do the same, showcasing how marketers can create mobile microcosms related to a major event.

?We know that once the Olympic Games start, they will be followed by a large audience,? said An Boon, global director of Olympic Games at Coca-Cola. ?Everybody will be rooting for their country and supporting the amazing athletes.

?Coca-Cola wants to celebrate not only the gold on the podium, but beyond the podium as well,? she said. ?We will invite teens to look for gold in their daily life and share this with us.

?And we will have our global social influencers, through the content that they will create, demonstrate that there are plenty of gold moments to find in Rio. We will invite our audience to engage with content that will be developed by the influencers and amplified by our global real-time marketing operation.?

Eyes on the prize
Coca-Cola?s newest campaign seeks to remind consumers that although a gold medal is a symbol of sporting prowess, gold moments can occur anywhere, at any time. The brand, which believes gold moments are comprised of joyful and refreshing feelings, is inviting fans worldwide to share their own top moments on social media via the #ThatsGold hashtag.

In addition to a global television and print campaign, the beverage marketer is tapping several global influencers ? such as YouTube star Jake Boys, fashion blogger Allie Evans and Australian singer Cody Simpson ? to develop a series of mobile-first content that describes what the Olympics-themed slogan means to them.

Additionally, the influencers will encourage fans to upload their own gold moments onto social media via the hashtag.

Rounding out the influencer program is a group of Team USA athletes and previous Olympic contestants who will star in several video vignettes produced by Coca-Cola and NBC. Athletes such as gymnastics legend Nastia Liukin will narrate the clips and share the underlying emotions behind their own #ThatsGold moments.

One vignette showcases several Coca-Cola athletes inviting viewers to share their own experiences with photos and videos uploaded to social platforms.

Coca-Cola?s strong social presence leading up to the Olympic Games will likely resonate positively with fans of the sporting events.

?In a lot of cases, the Olympic Games remind consumers of their sense of patriotism and pride,? said Toni Box, senior director of social media and content at PMX Agency. ?Brands would be smart to tap into that emotion with their audiences, much like what Coca-Cola is doing with the #ThatsGold campaign.

?Its hashtag is meant to connect not just national communities, but the greater global community ? promoting positive, shareable moments on all scales. The combination of TV and social media advertising, global influencers and the additional physical presence at the Games is a smart way to achieve maximum visibility.?

On-site campaign activations
Coca-Cola is supplementing its social media marketing push with several on-site branded activations in Rio de Janeiro.

?We will have in Rio ? and this is a first for Coca-Cola ? an experiential activation outside the Olympic Park,? Coca-Cola?s Ms. Boon said. ?It is located in an area that the IOC has called out as the official viewing site for the audience that was not able to obtain tickets.

?All the experiential activations that will happen there were designed to be easily shared and posted by the visitors on their social media [accounts]. For example, we?ll give visitors the opportunity to take their picture together with their friends with the Olympic Torch with a 360-degree camera.?

The Olympics-sized marketing campaign rollout comes on the heels of several other marketers? sports-themed promotional efforts.

The Coca-Cola Company?s vitaminwater brand is capitalizing on the anticipation surrounding the upcoming Rio Olympics by encouraging consumers to upload a photo or video of themselves trying something new onto social media for a chance to win a trip to Brazil (see story).

Meanwhile, Hershey's is bringing at-home viewers in on the action surrounding the Olympics by partnering with athletes for separate social media pushes designed to fit the images of its flagship product and the Reese's brand (see story).

?The marriage between the Olympics and social networks is natural in that both have global reach and appeal, and help one another captivate the world for the duration of the Games,? PMX Agency?s Ms. Box said. 

?Brands would be missing out on a major opportunity if they didn?t establish a voice in the Olympics conversation, and even if they are non-official sponsors, there are ways to launch Olympic-like content campaigns, in addition to direct partnerships with athletes to become a part of the discussion.?