Coca-Cola: Coke PLAY

Campaign Summary

Once an RFR study revealed 2.7 million Korean youths were Coke “brand neglectors,” Coca-Cola Korea teamed up with The Slate to create a mobile campaign that would convert teens by reinforcing Coke’s brand image as an energizing refreshment. Coke PLAY is a real and virtual playground for young people ages 12 to 29 to connect using mobile devices that incorporate voice recognition and location- and motion-detecting technologies for games and activities. Because 80 percent of Korean teens exceed their wireless data capacity each month, Coke PLAY awards additional data as prizes.

Strategy and Execution

Coca-Cola Korea faced two main challenges. First, Korean youth and teens who enjoyed sparkling beverages weekly preferred a cider to Coke as the more refreshing, energizing, and uplifting drink. Second, affordability was identified as a barrier to trying Coke. Therefore a promotion needed to promote Coke’s energizing brand and value to young consumers.

Coke PLAY is an outgrowth of teens’ desire to avoid emotional boredom through energizing refreshment. Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are the center of teen activities, from apps and chatting to surfing, games, and music.

The creative strategy involved designing a virtual and real-life playground and reward platform called Coke PLAY where teens could connect with each other, play with friends, and recharge their “social energy.” Using the Coke PLAY app or entering a PIN code from Coke packaging accrued points for customers, who could win:

  • A popular paid app
  • The latest smartphone
  • Coupons
  • Cinema tickets
  • Free wireless data
  • An overnight stay at Happy Energy Camp

Awarding additional wireless data capacity is a first in Korea, where purchasing more data is legally restricted.

The media strategy focused on establishing badge value by encouraging teens to celebrate life’s everyday routines as energizing Coke moments. Owned, earned, shared, and paid media were all incorporated in the plate, especially mobile owned media. Traditional media supported awareness of the campaign among a wider generation.

Fifty percent of the overall campaign budget was allocated to mobile.


Business results for the year to date as of June 2013 were:

  • Volume: +6.8 percentage points
  • Favorite Brand: +4.7 percentage points
  • Uplifting: +8.6 percentage points
  • IC transaction: +7.3 percentage points vs. last year

Campaign results were:

  • App Download: 1.06 million
  • Users: 933,000 (ages 10–19: 65 percent, 20–29: 24 percent, other: 11 percent)
  • Service Usages: Wireless data 84 percent
  • Social Conversation: [Total Buzz] 900,000/[Total view of content] 2.3 million

Categories: Mobile Couponing, Mobile Apps | Industries: Food, Beverage, Tobacco | Objectives: Promotion, Innovation | Awards: Silver Winner, Finalist