Just yesterday I wrote an article on content marketing showcasing Coca Cola’s attempt to bring their story to life. Check out their content marketing 2020 strategy video: In this video Jonathan Mildenhall, Vice-President, Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence at The Coca-Cola Company, explains how Coke will leverage the opportunities in the new media landscape and transform one-way storytelling into dynamic storytelling hoping to
add value and significance to peoples lives. Jonathan describes the challenge of content creation in an enlightening way, reminding us that “every contact point with a customer should tell an emotional story“.
Today their actions follow their words.
Coca Cola refreshed its corporate Web site for the new century, adopting a clear storytelling approach. Their new website has a real authentic and story-like magazine feel. Very different from all these classical corporate bla bla websites most companies have. The content is now arranged and commissioned to resemble a slick magazine or digital media brand’s website, with the emphasis on storytelling from around the world. It is an editorially-focused website, which creates, aggregates and curates content while maintaining the core functions of a corporate website (careers, investor relations, press
releases, executive bios).
And what I like most about it…
They are not just pushing cold content marketing stuff out. The content is not self-promotional. In my experience as corporate storyteller, I see a lot of brand stories that are mere bragging, blaring out messages, packaging them in ad campaigns, and repeating them as often as possible to augment the impact. Now one of the biggest brands in the world seems to put a stop to that.
Is all of this shockingly innovative? Not really.
Cavemen Storytellers used to tell the tales in a way that dragged people toward them; enticing and involving the listeners who used to sit around the campfire circle (the circle is what we label today as a â€œcommunityâ€) and relating with their audience. I have been preaching this cavemen message for many years: Companies and their brands are in need of real and emotionally engaging stories to tell. Still it was hot news when The New York Times announced the event of Coca Cola’s new corporate website just yesterday. Coke was surely not the first to work with authentic stories. It is clear that they have been drawing inspiration from a number of smart digital properties: National Geographic for its use of stunning visuals, Slate for its tone (“slightly irreverent but still serious”), even Google’s Think Quarterly online journal.
What I really like the most…
Is not the fact that Coca Cola is using his corporate website to tell stories (and engage with their audiences on a more emotional level) but the case that this major brand is acknowledging the power of brand story and corporate storytelling. I am sure many more brands will follow their example. (Hey brand managers, don’t forget to contact me for some silly storytelling advice.)
The use of the word â€œstoryâ€ is significant because the Web site changes are indicative of the growing interest among marketers in recasting their communications with consumers as storytelling rather than advertising. Just as attention is being paid to developing content to use for brand storytelling, an appetite also exists for corporate storytelling.
Ashley Brown, director of digital communications and social media for the company, says in
an interesting article on BrandChannel
the goal is to spark a debate, and host differing points of view, while showing the totality of Coca-Cola in a way that surprises and establishes a lively brand voice.
Today, visitors to the new
Coca-Cola Company site will find a story on an educational project in India on the homepage, featuring a journalistic headline (“Head of the Class”) and dateline (New Delhi), an approach that would not look out of place on the website of TIME or the New York Times.
We are now getting serious about engaging in a meaningful way. It’s also about taking the company to the next phase on social.
So, you are falling in love with this storytelling mumbo jumbo.
Where to start then?