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Case Studies


Coca-Cola Online Ad Campaign

Coca-Cola Online Ad Campaign

Best practice from AKQA.


How can big brands extend their reach even further? By giving back to the consumer. Coca-Cola proved this to be true with a campaign that supported and promoted new and undiscovered music talent across Europe.

The Coke Music Network, a grassroots initiative, began in August 2006. To promote the initiative in 2007 and to establish the brand as a consumer and community supporter, Coca-Cola launched Coke Music and utilised one of Google’s exciting advertising formats – Gadget Ads.

Google Gadget Ads are powerful, customisable mini applications that run as ads on the Google Content Network – the largest online global ad network.  Nearly anything you can do on a website you can do within a gadget ad.

You have the ability to host, create and update your content on a regular basis, making them a flexible outlet to reach your target audience.  Building an active community around your brand is easier with gadget ads since they can be shared among users and placed on any webpage including iGoogle.

With this revolutionary tool, Coca-Cola was able to boost awareness by creatively engaging its target market. The campaign was launched across the Google content network, and users could upload and personalise the ads on their iGoogle homepages.

Targeted at music lovers and trend setters, the Coke Music site allows new, emerging and unsigned artists of all genres to upload music, videos, and bios. Users are then able to listen to the content that has been uploaded to the site and rate it.

Coca-Cola’s aim is to help undiscovered and emerging musicians gain exposure. Artists can be discovered by industry experts and get a chance to play on stage at a local gig. The best way for artists to achieve this was to be placed on the Top Ten Chart, a key feature of the campaign.

The gadget ad campaign ran for seven weeks starting in June 2007. Coca-Cola’s key objectives were to:
- Boost awareness of Coke Music.
- Establish the brand as an active supporter of emerging European music talent.
- Enable consumers to explore hundreds of new artists, genres and bands.


The ads appeared on several music and entertainment sites, including YouTube, as an MPU-sized screen. Users were also able to upload the ads to their iGoogle homepages, enabling them to explore and devise content that interested them.

Karolin Madel, Account Director at AKQA says: “One of the reasons the gadget ad was so successful was its relationship with iGoogle. Users could add the gadget ads to their iGoogle homepages and customise them to their specific styles and tastes. This capability offered massive appeal to our target market.”

Songs were rated by fans and panels several times a day so the chart was often updated. If successful, the musician and their song would be featured on the Top Ten Chart, which was available online. When users clicked on the chart to listen to any of the top ten tracks, they would then begin interacting with the gadget ad. From there users could enter and explore the various sounds and channels.

Creative agency, AKQA, designed the ads, giving users access to:
- The grassroots music
- Voting for their favourite songs and videos.
- Listening to the songs in the Top Ten Chart.

Users were able to upload the gadget ad to their iGoogle homepage to have constant access to new music.

The Coca-Cola Google gadgets campaign coincided with the launch of several concerts around Europe as part of the Coca-Cola Music Network, the results of the campaign gave some of the newly discovered artists a chance to perform. All uploads to the Coke Music site are screened by experts in each of the countries forming part of the Coca-Cola Music Network and rated on the site itself by consumers.

“This campaign was a great example of how brands can add value to the user, and deliver a great Web experience for all parties involved. The key finding here is that through exploring new approaches, brands can find new ways of succeeding,” says Karolin.

Stafford Green, Group Director of Interactive Marketing for The Coca-Cola Company, adds: “Our European Coke Music program isn’t about big budgets or big bands, it’s about helping the artists and consumers discover what Coca-Cola can positively add to the community.

The program showed that our brand is committed to promoting the best in new music talent.  The Google Gadget ad served as a great extension to the European Coke Music program.  With gadget ads, our brand gave to our consumers something that was fun, interactive, and enjoyable. Thanks to AKQA and Google for making this happen.“ 


The Google Gadget ad campaign generated 3.3 million impressions with more than 1 million unique  users viewing the ad. It achieved thousands of song downloads from emerging artists across Europe.

By creating a brand that was designed to benefit and assist the consumer, the ads helped develop a strong brand image for Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola did not have to rely on website traffic or people actively searching for the brand to achieve exposure and awareness.

The opportunity to upload the ad to users’ iGoogle homepage and customise it appealed to a music audience, which maximised the success of the campaign.
- Several artists benefitted from the campaign because it led to performances, CDs, and podcasts.
- The Coke Music Network achieved awareness throughout Europe.
- A large Coca-Cola project was successfully delivered through a unique advertising format.


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