Sunday, November 11, 2007

Coca-Cola is less than refreshing

As more companies are alerted to the power of engaging with their audience through Social Media and as Facebook launch their new advertising strategy in New York, it is interesting to see just how wrong the big brands can get it.

Recognising that users of Facebook, MySpace and other social media will not respond positively to old-fashioned,in your face, advertising on the sites, savvy companies are setting up profiles, clubs and using viral videos to make an impact. So many have made great strides, yet Coca-Cola seem to have demonstrated perfectly how to get it so wrong.

The Technobabble Blog this week highlighted Coca-Cola's Facebook page. Quite why anyone would sign up as a 'fan' on their page is beyond me and very worrying (although I am sure that the whizz kids on their marketing would have envisaged more than 489 people expressing their devotion).

The quest is surely made no easier by their attempts to engage with their young, socially aware, cutting edge audience in their company overview:

The Coca-Cola Company engages in the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups worldwide. The company offers nonalcoholic beverages, principally carbonated soft drinks, as well as noncarbonated beverages. Its beverage products comprise bottled and canned soft drinks and beverages products. The company's products also include beverage concentrates, such as flavoring ingredients and sweeteners; syrups, the beverage ingredients produced by combining concentrates, sweeteners, and added water; and fountain syrups that use equipment for mixing the syrups with carbonated or noncarbonated water for immediate consumption, and are sold to fountain retailers, such as restaurants. The Coca-Cola Company also produces and markets noncarbonated beverages, including waters and flavored waters, juice and juice drinks, energy and sports drinks, teas, and coffees. The company markets its nonalcoholic beverages under various brand names, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite. It sells its finished beverage products primarily to distributors. The company sells its beverage concentrates and syrups to bottling and canning operators, distributors, fountain wholesalers, and fountain retailers. The Coca-Cola Company was founded in 1886 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Increasingly businesses of all sizes are looking to Facebook and other similar sites for their commercial value as well as just a social tool. Failing to recognise and respect the nature of the media and its users will render these attempts futile.

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