Cannes Lions

Coca-Cola - Growing Belief

AKQA, San Francisco / COCA-COLA / 2024

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Overview

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Overview

Background

We needed to appeal to the mainstream sporting audiences of Australia and New Zealand, with a particular focus on young women who are active participants, or potentially interested, in sports. The overall objective was to develop a unique OOH campaign that would increase brand affinity for Coke by cementing it as a long-term supporter of women’s soccer, amongst a sea of bandwagoning competitors brands. It was important to highlight the progress from widespread doubt and cynicism, to widespread belief and optimism, by tapping into contextual placements relevant to real player’s backstories. Coca Cola wanted to demonstrate their genuine support for women athletes and grassroots women’s sports in every corner of the country - not just in the stadiums where the elite event was taking place - so leveraging local fields was key to the approach.

Idea

The audience is a mainstream sporting one, with a focus on young women and girls. But instead of paying top media dollars to compete against bandwagoning brands for attention at the actual stadiums, Coke instead celebrated the game’s progress by going back to a grassroots level; and connecting with communities via local pitches around the country. Taking this ‘grassroots’ notion literally, we satisfied the client brief’s requirement for a unique OOH campaign by printing messages of inspiration and support onto actual local soccer field grass. Throughout the tournament, the messages transitioned from statements of doubt, to evidence of belief, in real-time. Contextual placements tied back to the athlete’s hometowns, and pivotal moments in their own journeys; proving to young women and girls in particular that these professional athletes came from similar backgrounds as them.

Strategy

The audience is a mainstream sporting one, with a focus on young women and girls. But instead of paying top media dollars to compete against bandwagoning brands for attention at the actual stadiums, Coke instead celebrated the game’s progress by going back to a grassroots level; and connecting with communities via local pitches around the country. Taking this ‘grassroots’ notion literally, we satisfied the client brief’s requirement for a unique OOH campaign by printing messages of inspiration and support onto actual local soccer field grass. Throughout the tournament, the messages transitioned from statements of doubt, to evidence of belief, in real-time. Contextual placements tied back to the athlete’s hometowns, and pivotal moments in their own journeys; proving to young women and girls in particular that these professional athletes came from similar backgrounds as them.

Execution

In order to not adversely impact the local fields’ game schedules, as well as ensure sustainability goals, the giant OOH executions were not painted in a traditional sense. They were in fact created using a unique “AirPrint” technology, patented by production partner NewGroundTechnologies. The proprietary AirPrint technology was leveraged to execute each grass-based OOH, with each individual execution the size of a standard soccer pitch: roughly 100 meters x 7 meters. While the placement on local pitches around the country delivered on the objectives of a more democratized audience, overhead footage was captured of the messages transforming in real-time, and relayed to a broader audience on social media. Each execution's turnaround time was less than two hours total.

Outcome

Quantitative brand tracking results were not disclosed by the client. However the qualitative responses from local sports and creative industry publications, as well as organic responses on social media, were universally positive.

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