NEW YORK – TV commercials remain a powerful piece of The Coca-Cola Company’s advertising arsenal, even in today’s digital-driven marketplace, Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto said at a recent Beverage Digest conference.

“Digital is important, of course, but the effectiveness of TV is still very, very critical for our business," de Quinto said on Dec. 9. "It still offers the best ROI across media channels."

Recall is often stronger for TV creative than social and digital media content, which can struggle to break through cluttered newsfeeds. “It’s a fact that teens have mobile devices,” de Quinto added, “but our challenge is to continue to be relevant with our communications.”

'We are re-Coca-Cola-izing Coca-Cola. We are going to the roots of what made this brand big.'

Coke’s global “Taste the Feeling” campaign, which launched one year ago with a renewed focus on the beverage’s taste and other functional aspects, leans heavily on television ads. A series of spots tell universal stories featuring young people enjoying Coca-Cola as a part of authentic, everyday moments.

"We are re-Coca-Cola-izing Coca-Cola,” de Quinto said. “We are going to the roots of what made this brand big.”

The new ads balance brand values – the ideals Coca-Cola stands for – with product benefits. “We used to do one or the other, but we are now doing communication where we balance both,” de Quinto said. “All (‘Taste the Feeling’) communications are global stories where Coke is the hero… and a product that satisfies a need.”

“Taste the Feeling” is part of the company’s "One-Brand" marketing strategy, which unites all four Trademark Coke brands – Coca-Cola, Diet Coke/Coca-Cola Light, Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Life – and underscores the company’s commitment to offering Coca-Cola beverage choices that suit a range of tastes, lifestyles and diets.

More Effective and Efficient Marketing

Coca-Cola has made strides in recent years to drive marketing productivity and efficiency, de Quinto said. Coke has abandoned its agency of record (AOR) approach and now reviews ongoing creative pitches from a diverse roster of shops around the world. Multiple agencies have contributed “Taste the Feeling” work, to date.

The company’s global marketing organization also has embraced a charter model by focusing on “fewer, bigger” campaigns and assigning country teams to take lead on global projects. For example, Mexico drove the development of the Coca-Cola holiday 2016 campaign.

“Everyone contributes,” de Quinto said, adding that his team has refined its metrics models and knowledge-sharing routines by consistently auditing the performance of all active campaigns and media assets. “We are rationalizing, reducing and optimizing our marketing expenditures,” he added. “We have very sophisticated research models that help us decide where to invest.”

“We’re very seriously trying to transform our company for digital.'

This renewed focus on productivity also includes rethinking its approach to digital marketing, which de Quinto said has often been fragmented and inefficient. Digital currently accounts for about 20 percent of the company’s global marketing budget, he said.

“We’re very seriously trying to transform our company for digital,” de Quinto said, adding that the approach will extend far beyond social media advertising.

Coke's digital strategy will be led by David Godsman, who joined the company in December in the newly created role of chief digital marketing officer.