It is not often that we see a health institute and a soft drink collaborate to create a social awareness as cola and health does not really go hand in hand; they are rather poles apart. Colas are not healthy, period. Even though how a famous cola company created huge brand awareness by associating itself with a health cause is what Coca-Cola taught us in 2013. They chose Twitter and Instagram as their social media platforms for the campaign, women’s heart as the social cause and Diet Coca-Cola as the representative product. The sponsor of the ‘Healthy Heart campaign’ was NIH, National Institute of Health, which is a biomedical research facility primarily, located in Bethesda, Maryland, founded in 1887.
What more we can say about a brand which has 3500 products selling over 200 countries and recognized by 94% of world’s population? Numbers said it all for it. The history goes way back to 1886 when Dr. John Pemberton created flavored syrup which was later mixed with carbonated water and sold at soda fountains. Coca-Cola has always been a company which has given much thought on brand awareness. The image of vibrant red liquid bubbling out of the curvaceous bottle has got imprinted in people’s mind, thanks to Coke’s consistent marketing campaigns, be it in social media nowadays or TVC in the past. One of the important aspects of Coke’s brand equity is it emphasized on the social behavior of sharing; they do not talk about the taste of the drink at all. Opening a bottle of Coke symbolized sharing happiness with friends and family; in larger context, it conveys the meaning of sharing the world with fellow humans. People associates Coke with this image.
Diet Coke is a ‘sugar-free’ variant of Coca-Cola which was introduced in 1982 with an advertisement slogan ‘Just for the taste of it!’ Since then a variety of flavored Diet Coke have arrived in the market with their basic packaging of a red colored Coke written against a shiny snow-white body. About the ‘dietary’ value of the drink as in how much ‘sugar-free’ the drink really is, is a debatable issue and let us not go in to it! We are mainly concerned about the social media marketing that helped Diet Coca-Cola create brand awareness for them.
Twitter Healthy Heart Contest
During February 2013 Diet Coke collaborated with NIH for their ‘The Heart Truth’ campaign to generate awareness about women’s health, emphasizing on heart related issues. Both NIH and Coca-Cola decided on the month of February to launch their campaign on Twitter and Instagram as that is the ‘heart month’ (we wonder if ‘Valentine’s day has anything to do with this!).
Objective and Goal of the Campaign
NIH’s objective behind the two-tear long collaboration with Coke was to bring awareness about women’s heart. It is found in a survey that one in four American women dies of heart disease. Therefore the target audience was women in general as well as women between 40 to 60 years of age who tend to fall victim of the heart diseases more.
Red is the color of love, passion, February, ‘Femme Fatal’ as well as high alert and Coca-Cola! NIH had chosen Red Dress as a symbol of awareness of women’s health. This color scheme was well-fit for Diet Coca-Cola as Red is also the chosen color with the help of which it built its brand equity.
Diet Coke created a hashtag #ShowYourHeart photo contest using Twitter and Instagram where people had to share photos related to the cause, depicting heart in any shape or form. The contest began one month before February, 3013. At the end five winners were chosen who were invited to take part in the Red Dress Collection fashion show held by ‘The heart Truth’ in New York. After the end of the contest Coca-Cola committed to donate $1 against each photo shared through 7th February against #ShowYourHeart handle.
There was a great response from the audience as taking part in the contest was really easy. With a number of 691, 616 followers and a number of 1,322,000 tweets per quarter, it was not that complicated for Coca-Cola to engage the already existing number of followers to move to the direction of the contest.
Diet Coca-Cola’s healthy heart contest through #ShowyourHeart had a lot of benefit for a brand like Coca-Cola. Let us see the outcomes.
#1: Building Brand Awareness
Diet Coke was able to build a great amount of brand awareness through the campaign. The symbol for women and heart disease is Red Dress, which is smartly associated with Coke’s famous logo of a curvaceous bottle; both symbolize women body. On the other hand, Diet Coke is a product consumed hugely by women popularity. Thus, the target audience was easy to reach. Brand awareness can be reached as long as the target audience is reached by a brand.
#2: Bringing up the ‘healthy’ side of a Cola
It is now a proven truth that any cola, be it Coke, Pepsi or any kind of carbonated soft drink is not good for health. Diet Coke is not an exception, too. Aspartame, the alternative of sugar that the brand uses is in controversy for a very long time. Anyway, the lesson that is to be learned from ‘the healthy heart contest is that how a brand can turn the table in their favor.
By associating themselves with a health related social cause not only Diet Coca-Cola received a huge amount of engagement, but also came clear as a brand that is aware of its social responsibility. This is an excellent example of how a brand can utilize social media campaign to increase, even recreate its brand value. One of the visions of Coca-Cola is to “Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.” Diet Coca-Cola follows the same vision in their #ShowYourheart photo contest.
#3: Showing Generosity
Compared to the old method of a corporate house just signing up a huge cheque or worst, not caring at all about a social cause, Diet Coke’s approach is way more positive. They showed their generous side by donating huge money that was gathered during the contest to the research.
Despite of the fact that Diet Coca-Cola may not be a health drink, the twitter marketing strategy of healthy heart contest enabled them to increase brand awareness worldwide. With a little innovation and a lot of effort any brand can recreate the magic that Diet Coke conjured during 2013.
Image Credits: Google image