How Coca-Cola Creates Stories

1 Mar

In October 2017, we talked about Ikea’s introduction of pet furniture. And we looked at its clever ad campaign. As part of our Ikea discussion, we showed a YouTube video on the making of its ads. Today, we consider how Coca-Cola creates stories to communicate with consumers.

First, view the Ikea video.


Background of Coca-Cola Advertising

For years, Coca-Cola has regularly appeared on lists of the world’s most valuable brands. And it dominates PepsiCo among soft drink brands. In large part, two reasons account for this. One, Coca-Cola’s massive distribution channels. Coca-Cola’s especially strong in restaurants, fast-food outlets, and other such firms. Two, Coca-Cola spends a lot on advertising; and its advertising is effective.

The following chart from Statista, based on Advertising Age and Kantar data, shows Coca-Cola’s ad spending just in the U.S. And it includes 2009-2016.

How Coca-Cola Creates Stories -- Annual U.S. Ad Spending

Behind the Scenes: How Coca-Cola Creates Stories

Besides spending so much on ads, Coca-Cola prides itself on it ad prowess. And it has the revenues and awards to bear this out.

Recently, Clare McDermott wrote (for the Content Marketing Institute) about Coca-Cola’s use of story telling. Other firms could learn about best practices from Coca-Cola:

“Kate Santore took the stage at Content Marketing World to share Coca-Cola’s storytelling ethos – and to inspire marketers to ask, ‘What if?’ ‘Sharing our strategies and approach to marketing has been a tradition at Coca-Cola to open the door for other brands to learn from our 130 years of marketing experience. Sharing collectively raises the bar for every brand and therefore makes us strive for bigger, better, bolder.’”

Here are a few of Santore’s remarks. To learn more, read McDermott’s full article:

“At Coca-Cola, we want to create Coca-Cola stories and not stories by Coca-Cola. That holds true when our product is a character in the story with a credible role to play. There are four typical archetypes that we look to: object of desire, embodiment of an attitude, social connector, and functional offering or benefit. If you read a script or even partner-created content and say to yourself, ‘Can I tell this story without Coca-Cola?’ and the answer is yes, then it’s a not a Coca-Cola story.”

Here’s an interesting story-telling chart from Content Marketing Institute.

How Coca-Cola Creates Stories

One Response to “How Coca-Cola Creates Stories”


  1. Coca-Cola Will Enter Japanese Low-Alcohol Market -- A Good Idea? - March 9, 2018

    […] we discussed before, Coca-Cola is a great marketing company. See How Coca-Cola Creates Stories and A Clever Ad: Coke and Recycling. Now, due to interest in healthier beverages, Coca-Cola keeps […]

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