Putting “The Real Thing” on Paper: Learning from Coca-Cola’s Liquid Ideas

Coca-Cola Content

Source: Coca-Cola

If you were to open a picture book that told your brand story, what do you envision would be on the pages?

For Coca-Cola United Kingdom, the answer exists not so much in a curved bottle of sweet liquid, but in actual liquid ideas – stories that represent so much value in people’s lives that they become part of our culture.

Coca-Cola describes this new concept, and mission, in a two-part video called “Content 20/20.” Illustrated across 10 chapters, the 18-minute presentation details how Coca-Cola intends to evolve from its existing status of creative excellence to a new ideal of content excellence.

As the narrator puts it: “Through the stories we tell, we will provoke conversations and earn a disproportionate share of popular culture.”

The video builds on the concept that storytelling adds another component to the dialog process, and an incredibly fertile component at that. The purpose of the mission, as described in the video, is to develop deeper brand connections through storytelling. Doing this means creating brand stories that generate liquid ideas so contagious they get people talking, and influence positive change. The result is a unified and coordinated brand experience across multiple channels.

Remember, the narrator explains – storytelling is at the heart of all families, communities and cultures.

And from where do these stories originate? Data will become the “new soil, soil in which our ideas will grow, and data whisperers will become new messiahs.”

In other words, by leveraging the customized content consumers share, we have the ability to create messages and stories that are relevant for specific customers, based on their profiles.

Coke’s “Content 20/20” mission provides a telling glimpse into where the world is headed with respect to traditional media communications vs. storytelling and generated content. A brand that has long mastered the deft technique of connecting with consumers through emotional relevance, Coca-Cola is raising the bar for all brands.

So sharpen your pencils. If your brand was a picture book, what would it say on page one?

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