February 2, 2015
Tian Zhang, Ph. D., Director of Interactive Marketing at Coca Cola Greater China
China Connect : What is your favorite Chinese campaign of 2014, and why ? Which were Coca Cola key challenges and achievements this year ?
Tian Zhang : My favorite would have to be the Coca Cola Lyrics Bottle Campaign, where again the product packaging becomes the hero and focal point of the campaign. The campaign ideas come from social insight and the buzz about the campaign was largely driven big on social media. The result, another solid over 10 percent volume growth on top 2013’s blockbuster summer. It was no surprise that the campaign swept most top marketing awards in China.
Our key challenge was to outperform the Nickname Bottle Campaign which turned out to be a blockbuster campaign in 2013. We focused on creating campaign ideas from social insight, finding emotions and lyrics that deeply touches the heart of the Chinese young. We also improved on our process and execution, made sure that product distributions were better managed, in addition to a better management of content distribution through multiple activations coincided with big life events among Chinese people.
2013 Nickname Bottle Campaign :
China Connect : Competition from Chinese local brands on the Food&Beverages market is intensifying (if I’m right ?): does it mean anything new for Coca Cola’s global “Think Global, Act Local” strategy in China, and what will you be focusing on in 2015 ?
Tian Zhang : No doubt competitions continues to intensify in this market. On the other hand, “Think Global, Act Local” has worked well for us in that we were able to tap into globally proven great ideas and execute against unique Chinese market insight. In 2015 we will continue to focus on our sparkling leadership and aggressively grow other categories. Digitally we will focus on the recent development in mobile and big data, and invest resources accordingly.
China Connect : Could you highlight some key differences on the way Chinese netizens socially engage with the brand, comparatively to their counterparts in South East Asia ?
Tian Zhang : Aside from the entirely different social media platforms, we observe a fragmentation of Chinese consumers into their favorite ones, while our SEA counterparts still concentrate on Facebook and Tweeter for the most part. In China, although WeChat and QQ is currently attracting the majority of users, other platforms, such as Weibo, Renren, Douban, Momo, and even BBSs such as Tianya, still have millions loyal followers. Finding ways to have presence and yet keep economy of scale is the challenge we face in this market.