Ad Age Names Coca-Cola Marketer of the Year 2011

"Coca-Cola is it again," Ad Age declares in its Nov. 7 cover story, naming Coca-Cola Marketer of the Year. Calling 2011 a "year for the record books," Ad Age selected the Company from a shortlist of contenders considered to have delivered a standout year in both marketing excellence and strong business results.


Marketing Brands Big and Small
"While it boasts the world's most valuable brand—and Coke has certainly been a success story with 3 percent volume growth worldwide—it also has a stable of smaller upstarts, and we've been impressed by how deftly it meets the marketing challenges of brands both big and small," Ad Age editor Abbey Klaassen says.

"Its advertising is consistently good," she continues, "but the bigger marketing story is one of innovation at food service with Freestyle machines; with package design on brands such as Diet Coke; and in product development, such as Minute Maid Pulpy, its first billion-dollar brand launched in an emerging market. That we're awarding this honor the year Coca-Cola turns 125 is serendipitous and coincidental but proves that marketing innovation knows no age limit."

Powerful Benchmarks
Ad Age cited several additional 2011 milestones for the Company, including Diet Coke bypassing Pepsi to become the No. 2 sparkling beverage brand in the United States; Del Valle and Minute Maid Pulpy joining the Company’s growing roster of billion-dollar brands; Coca-Cola topping Interbrand's most-valuable global brands list for the 12th straight year; the groundbreaking Coca-Cola Music platform; Fanta's global Less Serious campaign; the newly announced Arctic Home campaign to support WWF's efforts to protect the polar bear habitat; and creative marketing for Minute Maid , smartwaterand Fuze.

"All of these efforts are examples of the way the company is coalescing around management's 2020 Vision, which involves doubling system revenue and more than doubling servings to some 3 billion per day," Ad Age reporter Natalie Zmuda writes.

A Resourceful Team
In an interview with Ad Age, Joe Tripodi, Coca-Cola’s chief marketing and commercial officer, credited the global community of more than 4,000 marketers and commercial leaders at The Coca-Cola Company with evolving into a networked system through collaboration and reapplication.

"Because of the scale and size of Coca-Cola, we have to have a culture that encourages us to share the learnings and failures, the good, the bad and the ugly," Tripodi says. "We've got a team of people around the world that is less concerned with getting credit and more concerned with getting behind a great idea."

This year marks the 40th year that Ad Age has recognized a marketer of the year. The publication began singling out a marketer in 1971, when the award was known as Adman of the Year. Ad Age broadened its focus in 1993 and began recognizing companies, always with an emphasis on the marketing minds behind the world's biggest ideas, innovations and successes.

Coca-Cola was first recognized by the publication in 1974, when President Donald Keough was named Adman of the Year. Chairman and CEO Roberto Goizueta was honored in 1986.

Other Recent Awards

The Coca-Cola Company has received much recognition in the recent past. Accolades include: