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Coca-Cola marries mobile, social in marketing initiative

Coca-Cola Co. is using mobile advertising to ramp up its Facebook presence and further engage beverage lovers with its brand.  

The company?s mobile banner ads can be seen within the TV Guide iPhone app. They lead consumers to a mobile version of its Facebook page.

"Coca-Cola has a different mission than a brand that sells consumer-direct," said Wilson Kerr, Boston-based location-based services consultant. "While most consumer brands tend to see Facebook as secondary to desktop or mobile-optimized commerce sites, Coca-Cola clearly sees fan engagement through social media as a high priority. 

"With nearly 34 million fans and 30 different interactive experiences, from virtual gifts to something called the 'Smilizer,' they have taken engagement to a whole new level," he said. "Spending on performance-based advertising makes sense if their goal is to grow their fan base and then tap into this rich vein for feedback on product concepts, design, branding and positioning. 

"Facebook is a very powerful, low-cost form of CRM, if used well. Coca-Cola seems to know this and is taking maximum advantage."

Mr. Kerr is not affiliated with Coca-Cola. He commented based on his expertise on the subject. 

Coca-Cola did not respond to press inquiries. 

Extraordinary ad
The Coca-Cola banner ad reads ?Stay Extraordinary.?

When consumers click on the banner ad, they are redirected to the company?s Facebook page where they can log-in to ?Like? Coca-Cola and interact with the brand.

Consumers are taken to the company's Facebook page

Users can see what others have to say

Additionally, consumers can see what other users say about the company?s beverages, as well as view the brand?s information and photos.

Running mobile banner ads that lead consumers to a brand?s Facebook page is a smart move.

Mobile and social go hand in hand and companies are steadily using both to further engage with customers and have them interact with the brand.

Mobile all the way
Coca-Cola is no stranger to mobile, nor to mobile advertising.

Last year, the company ran a banner ad via Hallmark?s Ultimate Holiday iPhone application, but rather than taking users to a mobile-optimized landing page, they get redirected to a Flash-based Web site (see story).

They have, however, realized from their mistake and made sure that the current mobile banner ad is optimized for iPhone devices.

Recently, Coca-Cola and HMSHost teamed up to support hunger relief efforts and offer consumers a chance to win a dream vacation via a mobile campaign.

The companies created the summer sweepstakes promotion to spotlight hunger relief.  Consumers can vie for a grand prize vacation to one of three destinations including Orlando, FL, Palm Springs, CA and Chicago, IL (see story).

"Mobile advertising can drive consumers to mobile commerce sites that convert real revenue," Mr. Kerr said. 

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York