Coca Cola getting into social media

cokeSome interesting insights about a big brand’s attitudes to social media have emerged from an advertising event in Cannes. Coca Cola, it seems, has been nervous about embracing user-generated content and social media, and is only now starting to get the hang of it.

That’s an admission by Jonathan Mildenhall, The Coca-Cola Company’s VP of global advertising strategy and creative excellence. The brand watched as a Facebook fan page started by consumers swelled to 4m users, and that helped it understand the point.

He said: “At first we were unsure but we’ve seen another world in the sense of the creative community love for the brand. That has helped build confidence in handing over brands to user-generated content and we’re putting that into a lot of our plans.”

For instance it has been running a competition in Mexico, where users can create and upload ideas for a 60-second TV spot. Voters choose which one will be aired.

“If I’m here [in Cannes] in three years’ time I’ll have user-generated content from all over the world to talk about,” Mildenhall said. “To have consumers genuinely at the heart of our business is something that truly excites me.”

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