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Why Coke is freezing its marketing spend

Updated: May 20, 2020

Had a conversation with a client recently about Coke’s decision to freeze marketing spend, when evidence says you should maintain brand support (and research from Kantar suggests people have no problem with brands advertising anyway).

Why Coke is freezing its marketing spend
Why Coke is freezing its marketing spend

Thought I’d share conclusions we came to, and the ‘reasons why’ (for Coke at least) this makes for a fairly unique-ish case.

  • Sociability is central to Coke’s comms, which won’t necessarily play well (although, as many struggle with isolation, they could do ‘socially distant’ sociability: think Whassup).

  • 2020 spend will be tied up in events that aren't happening (Premier League, Euro 2020, Olympics), with copy likely developed along these lines.

  • A lot of sales will be thru channels that are no longer accessible: impulse, pubs/bars, entertainment venues, food service.

  • Coke have unassailable brand equity strength after decades of investment – most probably won’t even notice given how embedded the brand is in society, culture and lives.

  • With their media clout, ‘donating to charity’ is still a big old bit of awareness and equity building marketing investment under another name!

  • It will be interesting to see how long their abstinence lasts.

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