Coca-Cola, Maroon 5 and crowdsourcing

In this blog I’d like to talk about a crowdsourcing and co-creation campaign from Coca-Cola. In cooperation with Maroon 5 they organised a 24-hour during live stream. In this period people from all over the world could contribute to create an original track. The song had to be written, recorded and produced within 24 hours. When fans visited the website of this campaign, they were able to see the studio from different angles. They could communicate with the band through different social media networks. Fans were able to comment and suggest ideas for the lyrics and rhythms for this new track. This input was projected on a large screen in the studio. If the song would be downloaded by fans all around the globe over 100.000 times, Coca-Cola would donate the amount of money they have earned to a charity called the RAIN Foundation.

Despite the fact that  the idea was original, the campaign itself didn’t create quite a lot buzz. The (after)movie of the campaign was only viewed 15.000 times on YouTube. At the time Coca-Cola was promoting the campaign on their social media accounts. They had about 23 million followers on Facebook, but no more than 6.000 subscribed for this particular event. What went wrong?

Personally, I think this concept was one of a kind. A song was created in a whole new way. Coca-Cola had the courage to experiment with new ways to create music. This kind of innovation is exactly what the music industry needs because I think that the music industry has lost its creativity. Everything is about the money, it should be about creating art.

As I was very curious to learn about this (failed) event, I have scoured the internet to find some answers. Several answers were given. Some claimed that the engagement was low because Maroon 5 was the participating band in this campaign. Others claimed that the content marketing campaign was not executed properly. There was not enough content about this event available.

However, most people claimed that the event failed because of the fact that they had to subscribe with their Facebook account as they didn’t want to share their personal information with Coca-Cola. I think I wouldn’t have participated as well when I had to subscribe with my Facebook account because I neither want to share my personal information with Coca-Cola.

All in all, I think that it was an unique and original concept of Coca-Cola. However, I think it could have become a bigger success if they let people choose whether or not they would subscribe with their Facebook account. Besides, it would have been wise if they had done some research to decide which artists would generate enough buzz for the campaign. Who topped the Billboard chart at that particular moment?



One thought on “Coca-Cola, Maroon 5 and crowdsourcing

  1. Your crowd-sourcing and co-creation campaign was very interesting to read! I agree with you that what Coca-Cola did is indeed a very original way of generating momentum with the company’s followers on its social media platforms. Unfortunately taste differs amongst consumers, which you highlighted clearly and very well with the Maroon 5 example. I personally really like their music.

    When you referred to this it made me think of a similar move Apple made earlier this year when they gave away a free U2 album to about 500 million of its iTunes members. Although intentions were ‘good’ the PR stunt quickly backfired on the company. The band has a huge following and millions of people over the world love it. But, just as many people may not like the group or may not have even heard of it. Many therefore called it an unpleasant surprise and many felt that the band’s newest release was ‘forced’ on them. The price tag of Apple’s marketing campaign? Over 100 million Dollars was spent on the creation of this. Ultimately Apple had to create another department wherein iTunes users could file a complaint for removal.

    Music is a delicate issue to use in marketing and promotional campaigns. With such a wide variety and blend of different personal preferences it seems that more harm can be done than good in some cases, with Coca Cola’s Maroon 5 and Apple’s U2 as some fine examples of this.

    On a side note, Coca Cola does really try to be innovative and original when it comes to its social media campaigns. A brilliant example of this is their “Share a Coke” campaign, which has been credited with a significant boost in sales. After experiencing 11 years in a row of declining sales Coca-Cola managed to turn the tide around whilst leaving its biggest competitor PepsiCo biting the dust.

    Together with ad agency Ogilvy Coca-Cola was pondering on how to re-engage customers in stores and online. So they used the 250 most popular first names for teens and adults. Some of the other labels included ‘warm and fuzzy terms’ like “friends”, “BFF” and “Family”.

    Also, strengthened by the great success of its “Share a Coke” campaign Coca-Cola has decided to launch another completely new concept this time together with HP indigo. For their Diet-Coke lovers they have decided to create and design over two million unique Coca-Cola bottles in which every single bottle has it’s own distinct pattern and print. Will this be another success or failure? Only time can tell.

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