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Coca-Cola leverages mobile relationships to support active lifestyle initiative

Coca-Cola is leveraging a strong mobile relationship with younger consumers built over time to boost an important company initiative around encouraging  healthy lifestyles. 

The soft drink giant?s newly unveiled Just Dance Now mobile game is available in European markets through QR codes on 250 ml cans of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero and ties in with a release of wearable fitness and sleep monitors. The campaign is the beverage maker?s latest effort to tap mobile and entertainment content to expand its connection with consumers.

?Coca-Cola is again leading the charge by using mobile as a brand strategy to stay relevant to its consumers,? said Sheryl Kingstone, research director with Boston-based Yankee Group. ?It's also fusing mobile, fitness and music to promote a healthy lifestyle.  

?Coca-Cola demonstrated strong success using mobile as a customer engagement mechanism,? she said. ?They understand that their products don't necessarily promote a healthy lifestyle, but by using value-added mobile games as a campaign strategy coupled with promoting an active lifestyle.?

A Coca-Cola representative could not be reached for comment by press time.

Targeting obesity
The campaign targets obesity in particular and comes amid this week?s Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, where Coca-Cola and other members of the American Beverage Association set a goal to reduce beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent by 2020. 

App home page in Apple App Store.

The Balance Calories Initiative encourages people to balance all of their calories ? including those from beverages ? with daily physical activity. An article on Coca-Cola?s Web site called the campaign the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help consumers manage their beverage calories and encourage physical activity by leveraging the beverage companies' greatest strengths in marketing, innovation and distribution.

This multi-year initiative will be underscored by an industry-led program, "Mixify,? that focuses on helping teens and their families improve their understanding of how to balance their calories by being more mindful of all the calories they consume and getting more active. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation will also utilize its resources to complement this campaign by promoting moderation and physical activity.

The beverage companies will retain an independent, third-party evaluator, in conjunction with the Alliance, to track progress and interim benchmarks toward their commitments.

Coca-Cola provides a range of sizes of its products, including more than 200 reduced, low- or no- calorie choices in North America.

On its Web site, Coca-Cola said being more physically active is one of the most important things people can do for their health and happiness. The company said it has at least one physical activity program in every country where it operates.

Users of the Just Dance Now game application use a phone as a controller. After launching the game on, on any connected screen, participants follow the dancers on the screen and use their iPhone or iPod touch to track their moves and score their dance. 

Players also can use their iPad as their connected screen: they launch the app on their iPhone or iPod touch. Then they go to on a connected screen, or launch the Just Dance Now app on their iPad as well. 

Users can launch the game on, on any connected screen.

There is no limit to the number of players. One can either play solo or dance with friends and family.

The app, developed by Ubisoft, includes a social dance cam, which lets iPhone/iPod touch users record their friends dancing and then share the video on Facebook at the end of the session. Participants can browse a song catalogue to plan a dance session.

Coke has been building engagement with younger consumers for some time, recently using music to expand its connection with the group. 

Bottled music
In June, it launched a campaign in China that put lines from popular songs on bottles of soda, allowing for on-demand access to content and creating a shareable experience via popular social application WeChat.

Each Lyric Coke bottle featured a QR code that could be scanned to activate a short clip featuring the lyric on that bottle. The animated musical clips were designed specifically to be shareable in social media, and were being positioned as a whole new way to consume music ? the shareable musical soundbite .
?Coca-Cola creates an aura of an image that is aligned with their target audience,? Yankee Group?s Ms. Kingstone said. ?The goal is not to sell more Coca-Cola, but strengthen the brand using strategies their customers want: Mobile and Music.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York.