Does it make sense for Coke to become a publisher? Will it succeed?
This approach to content marketing has been very successful for other brands. American Express OPEN Forum has become a very legitimate small business publication. Red Bull has launched Red Bull Media House, a self-styled “multi-platform media company.”
Coke, however, is a bit more heavy-handed in its content marketing efforts. Some might say clever. Others might say oafish.
According to Ashley Brown, head of social and digital at Coke:
Clearly, this commitment is evidenced by Coke inviting me to question their strategy right here on the pages of their own website.
But AmEx has a customer-centric approach to its content marketing efforts. AmEx's approach is a clear exchange of relevant value.
Coke, on the other hand, has a brand-centric approach. One story claims New Yorkers are “lining up” against the City's ban on soda.
Are they really?
Is that the kind of blatantly self-serving content that is going to get me, Mr. Consumer, to come back?
The bottom line is: Coke wants this to be a place where people indulge curiosity and engage in discussion. But, is that the relevant value people want from Coke?
Answering that question will determine this platform’s ultimate success.
Ironically, it is
Overall, this is an amazing effort. There is some great content being created, but I can literally hear the compromises and justifications being made:
"How will this contribute to revenue?"
"Why should we spend millions on this content if it's not promoting Coke?"
"Can't you make the logo bigger?"
Overall, I applaud the effort from Coke. But I'm not giving them a standing ovation yet.
When Coke gets that content marketing is about really about putting the customer first, then I'll really jump to my feet.
Adam raises many great points, and I agree with many of them.
Consumer-centric content is the future (and I would argue it’s the now too), and that notion underpins our “shared value” principle. Coke believes that, if you give us your time, you should get something back – be it a laugh, a smile, or a nugget of interesting information you didn’t know before. All of the content that we green light for publication is evaluated through that lens. We always ask ourselves: “If I didn’t work here, would I find that interesting? Would I share it with my friends?” Most of our story ideas don’t meet that bar.
A good example of how we’re delivering that value is our Food section. Shortly after launch, we noticed several recipes climbing in page views, and ‘
We intend to focus our original content on areas where we think
We’re proud of
As for Charlie Brown’s Christmas, it’s this week’s third most-shared piece on Journey. It has been a staple of the American holiday season since 1965, and its enduring popularity is rooted in its incomparable ability to make us all smile. Good grief.