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Communicator of the Week: Coca-Cola

10th September 2013

Last year Mercedes Benz became the first company to merge their TV advertising with interaction via social media. Their campaign allowed viewers to choose between potential story endings through using one of two hashtags. It was simple to execute but kept people watching, which is the great challenge the advertising industry faces with view on demand TV on the rise.

Coca-Cola has now gone one better by integrating live Tweets with TV advertising. The message of the Romanian campaign is a good positive one aimed at reversing the trend that sees 60 per cent eat alone in front of the TV. Using the hashtag #LetsEatTogether many people Tweeted an invitation to a friend to do just that. Using real time editing and content approval people soon began seeing their Tweets pop up on the TV moments after they had been sent.

Over a two week period hundreds of Tweets were broadcast as part of the campaign and Coca-Cola's Twitter followers increased by 15 per cent. Over a million Tweets were sent, many bridging the gap to other social media platforms by including Instagram pictures of people's dinners or tables set ready for a meal with friends. As with any good modern campaign the social media activity was backed up by more traditional activity and Coca-Cola used a Romanian celebrity chef who cooked surprise meals for some of those who Tweeted in. He also became a spokesman on behalf of the campaign.

Coca-Cola claim that the campaign became a 'movement'. This might be stretching things too far unless they can prove a long-term reversal in the negative trend of people eating alone. That said, high profile bloggers and other celebrities joined in the Tweeting helping the hashtag become a recurring top 10 trend. The advert also became a news story in itself featuring on evening news bulletins.

Most top-rating TV shows now feature a suggested hashtag at the start of the show to try and make their viewers, fans and then ambassadors of the show. The next step will be live commentary of acts on X-Factor or Strictly or even analysis of big sporting events. This is the future. For getting there first I make Coca-Cola my Communicator of the Week.

Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Stait

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