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Coca-Cola connects with moms on mobile via fitness-tracking push

Coca-Cola is extending its presence in the mobile fitness space and bolstering its connection with mothers by joining drugstore chain CVS and Morris Media Network?s regional Parent magazine group in challenging Southern United States families to track healthy lifestyle practices on a mobile-optimized Web site in exchange for prizes.

By going to the Fit Family Challenge responsive site, participants in the free, eight-week healthy lifestyle program in North Carolina, South Carolina and parts of Tennessee can track their activity, eating habits and hydration levels and earn points toward prizes through June 15. Coca-Cola?s participation in the challenge follows its pledge in 2013 to promote well-being and address obesity and sedentary lifestyles, including supporting physical activity programs globally. 

?Moms are mobile. Plain and simple,? said Eve White, publisher and executive editor of Charlotte Parent magazine, Charlotte, NC. ?And the Fit Family Challenge allows moms to access the tracker via desktop, tablet or smartphone ? whenever and wherever they choose.

?Tracking goals and progress is incredibly important in the success of any lifestyle program,? she said. ?Recording and tracking daily activity motivates parents to take stock of their habits, set goals and make changes, no matter how small, to improve their children's health and wellness.?

Healthier lifestyle
The sponsors, which also include Morris Media?s Carolina and Piedmont Parent magazines, are motivating families in each region to get moving and create healthier lifestyles. 

First, participants go to the challenge site to log in. There they will see a summary of their family's minutes and points, broken down by family member. 

Clicking on the activity screen lets them enter daily family activities including the date, type of activity and minutes. They can also select and record healthy habits, such as eating fruits and vegetables, drinking six to eight glasses of water per day and/or reducing screen time. 

After they submit their data, the tracker registers any earned points to their account. 

Challenge participants also receive additional wellness support via blogs, expert advice, tips and information on free exercise classes through the Parent magazines websites.
?Finding time (and discipline) for fitness is hard but the rewards are worthwhile,? Ms. White said. ?We hope our fun prizes will incentivize moms to keep at it. And by providing a real-time update on ?Who's Active Today?? and ?The Top Fit Family Points? in each region, we hope to tap into everyone's competitive spirit and fun feeling of community.?

The mobile-optimized tracker will let busy parents track their progress in the challenge, whether they are parked in the carpool line, waiting at the pediatrician's office or just before they leave the gym. 

As part of its pledge to promote well-being and to help address obesity and sedentary lifestyles, Coca-Cola in 2013 unveiled a plan to introduce more than 400 new beverage products, including 100 reduced-, low- or no-calorie drinks, and support more than 290 physical activity programs in nearly 125 countries across the world.

By the end of 2013, it offered reduced-, low-, or no-calorie beverage options in 192 markets, according to its Web site. In 73 markets, 20 percent or more of its products were reduced-, low- or no-calorie beverages. 

Its adoption of goals aimed at combating obesity and unhealthy lifestyle practices dovetailed with the brand?s change to mobile-first thinking, including an objective to connect with moms.

Mobile-optimized family fitness tracker.

It also comes as consumers increasingly use wearable computing, self-monitoring and other tools to track health and fitness, food, diet, sleep and mood.

?Coke has worked hard to position itself as a millennial brand,? said Gary Schwartz, CEO of Impact Mobile, Toronto. ?Millennials feel that their choices and values can impact the world and their families.

?Engaging in a wellness discussion with families is crucial part of Coke's so-called 360-degree marketing strategy,? he said. ?The big challenge will be cutting through the noise in this space with an application that will drive adoption and stickiness. 

?Coke is competing with established brands like the Nike ecosystem that has nearly 20 million users,? he said. ?More challenging will be grappling with the fact that [a] fitness and health tracker has notoriously high abandonment rates.?

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