Coca-Cola Cuts Ad Spend by 6.6% and Invests More in Social Media

Matt Rhodes Digital Strategist,

Posted on March 21st 2011

Image courtesy of Adhistory

The Grocer recently published its Top 100 advertisers report and showed that Coca-Cola cut ad spend by 6.6% in 2010 and invested more in social media.

A spokeswoman at Coca-Cola said that while TV is still an important medium from promoting their brands,”many of our recent advertising campaigns and promotions have also utilised online facilities such as Facebook and YouTube more”.

With the launch of Coke Zone, a social media oriented site which offers Coke drinkers access to exclusive content and rewards, Coca-Cola has clearly realised the value of integrating offline and online marketing.

While Coke Zone is considered to be a valuable point of interaction with consumers, what’s more interesting is that using social media has allowed Coca-Cola to break out of the stop-start cycle of more traditional media campaigns and to start engaging on a more frequent, ongoing basis. Coca-Cola’s social media strategy is clearly about long-term sustainable engagement, developing advocacy and encouraging brand loyalty.

This is something that other fmcg brands would do well to think about. Social media is not just about campaigns or generating buzz around a new product launch. It can be used to engage with consumers on an ongoing basis in order to deepen relationships with a brand.

Perhaps it’s time for other areas of the consumer market place to reconsider their advertising spend too. In particular, household brands. Household brands spent a whopping £177.8 million on advertising in 2010. But with the rising cost of detergent ingredients threatening retail prices (both coconut oil and palm kernel oil are up 130% on last years price) can household brands continue to spend big bucks on advertising or should they be looking at alternative means, perhaps through social media, of developing brand loyalty?


Matt Rhodes

Digital Strategist,

Digital strategy, marketing, social media and comms for work; marathon runner for fun. Find out more at:

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Posted on March 24th 2011 at 5:29PM

I read this a few days ago, very interesting.

I actually wrote about it on my BLOG, you can read my comments on

here is a just a little bit of what I saw the value by Coca Cola doing this "It makes sense, everyone of us reading this BLOG are in the digital age, we read our news online, we shop online, we communicate online, we still do watch TV though but who knows what the future holds for that medium. As a traditional newspaper, radio or television program owner things might be getting a little scary in the future since they rely so heavily on ads they sell within their spaces."


Posted on March 24th 2011 at 5:49PM

Hopefully Coke will be a little more prudent than was Pepsi with their "Refresh Project" which appears to have been a disaster:

"The Refresh Project accomplished everything a social media program is expected to: Over 80 million votes were registered; almost 3.5 million "likes" on the Pepsi Facebook page; almost 60,000 Twitter followers. The only thing it failed to do was sell Pepsi."


Posted on March 24th 2011 at 10:13PM

I'd sell my Coke stock. They don't have a clue.