Communicating through the "world game", for brand and corporate reputation
A Coca-Cola Great Britain case study

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Page 5: Some notable communication successes

Coca-Cola has made its messages effective by following carefully the rules of good communication and also the maxims:

  • 'Know your audience, and how best to address it.'
  • 'Know your market: what makes it tick, and what turns it off.'

As a knowledgeable 'insider', the Company is well educated in the different worlds within the one game. Thus, its activities and approaches with, say, the Schools Football Association are very different from those the Company deploys when working with FIFA. The difference lies not in the degree of importance that the Company attaches to the work and to 'getting it right' but in the kind of support it offers and how it offers it.

The 2002 FIFA World Cup demonstrated the ability by Coca-Cola to get its message across to billions of TV viewers world-wide. Not only that, the Company used its understanding of the game to 'get closer to the fans'.

Prior to the World Cup, Coca-Cola encouraged participation from across the globe in its Stadium Art Programme, where fans from all five continents competed to create unique Coca-Cola advertising that was showcased in stadiums in Korea and Japan. The winning designs from each nation were featured in pitch-side advertising.

The Sweeper Zone programme is designed to help local communities to take pride in the local environment surrounding their football clubs. The programme involves an active partnership between Coca-Cola, Encams, the football clubs, local councils, businesses and the local community with the aim of creating a cleaner environment. Coca-Cola used its marketing expertise to help create the Sweeper Zone identity and branding.

The Sweeper Zone is effectively an area surrounding a football ground and is marked out by clear signage. It is particularly active on match days when clubs communicate to fans through messages on the public address system and in match day programmes. The youth appeal of Coca-Cola has also helped to motivate young people in the local community through the Sweeper Zone Young Ambassadors programme, which supports their personal development and educates them on environmental issues. The young people are particularly active on match days when they remind fans to keep the area clean.

Sweeper Zone is also a great example of the innovative approach that Coca-Cola has taken to the development of football related programmes which also delivers on a number of the Company's citizenship and corporate responsibility commitments such as community and the environment.

The programme not only harnesses the power of the brand and the universal appeal of football to educate the community at large about environmental concerns surrounding football grounds, it also supports them in changing their behaviour to dispose of litter in a more responsible way. The trial scheme operated in zones around the grounds of Arsenal and Liverpool FC.

Coca-Cola Great Britain | Communicating through the "world game", for brand and corporate reputation