- Coca-Cola Canada and music streaming service Spotify are bringing back their "Play a Coke" promotion with a mobile application that reads song playlists from soft-drink containers, per a news release. After downloading the app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store, a consumer can unlock a playlist by pointing the phone’s camera at a specially marked bottle or fountain cup and pressing play.
- Spotify is supplying more than 150 playlists that can be found on all Coca-Cola brands including Sprite, which has its own song suggestions. The "Play a Coke" app was developed in Canada for the Canadian market and has playlists in English and French.
- Coca-Cola Canada plans to distribute 30 million specially marked "Play a Coke" bottles during the campaign, the brand said. The beverage company said its marketing support for the program is "significantly increased" from last year with social media, TV, movie theater, outdoor and in-store promotions.
Coca-Cola needs all the help it can get in reversing a sales decline that last month led the company to reduce its global headcount by 1%, with a 22% cut to upper management. While summer activities and get-togethers bring a seasonal surge to beverage sales, increasingly health-conscious consumers are turning away from sugary soft drinks in favor of bottled water.
Partnering with a trendy app like Spotify might raise Coke's mindshare as temperatures climb, and fits into a growing trend of brands leveraging third-party app partners to reach younger audiences, in particular.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi saw per capita consumption of soft drinks fizz out last year, falling to a 31-year low, according to Beverage-Digest. Meanwhile, total volume grew as the companies marketed sports drinks and bottled water. Coca-Cola's Dasani grew 5.3% and PepsiCo's Aquafina gained 10.9% in 2016.
As for Canada, its soft-drink industry is contending with the possibility that the government will seek to tax sugary drinks. A University of Waterloo study earlier this year said a 20% tax on sweetened drinks could save more than 13,000 Canadian lives over the next 25 years while reducing healthcare spending by $11.5 billion. The Canadian Beverage Association contested the study's claims.