Coca-Cola in Romania has found a novel way to reconnect with young adults, combining fashion and packaging innovation to strike a chord with millennials who often pride themselves on avoiding big name brands.

The company’s research found that 40% of Romanian teenagers hadn’t had Coca-Cola within the last month; however, most of them attended at least one festival last summer.

To reinvigorate interest among these consumers, Coca-Cola capitalized on their love of musical events. Teaming up with popular local festivals such as Transylvania’s Untold, the company rolled out “festival bottles” with an extra touch: each label featured a detachable wristband that had a chance to win free tickets to a musical event. In order to find out if the wristband is a winner, the user needed to check the bar code via a mobile app.

The campaign saw huge success; consumers liked the trendy design of the eight branded patterns, and continued to wear them even if they hadn’t won anything. According to Coca-Cola, the promotion resulted in an 11% sales growth, outperforming the previous best Coca-Cola campaign in Romania by 27%.

The campaign struck a chord with millennials, and created an association between fun festival moments and Coca-Cola. Moreover, the wristband is able to serve as a fashion item, which is particularly appealing to millennials who like to express their individuality through clothing and apparel.

Following the success, the promotion is likely to be repeated in similar forms in other countries famous for their festivals, such as Germany and the UK.

Coca-Cola is right to target this specific group; GlobalData figures for 2016 show that those aged 16-24 drink less carbonates than older age groups in many countries. Health concerns, the growing popularity of energy drinks, and the rejection of big name brands in favour of local and artisanal producers means companies like Coca-Cola need to explore new ways of connecting with a younger audience.

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When it comes to selecting what drink to consume, the desire for rest and relaxation and the desire for special experiences rank highly with 16 to 24 year olds worldwide. GlobalData measured the importance of 20 consumption motivations: when it comes to carbonates, relaxation ranked second and experience seeking ranked third. This emphasizes the vital role emotive connection plays for this group.

Coca-Cola’s promotion did just that – firstly, it gave them an exciting opportunity to win tickets to an event they are likely to enjoy, and secondly, it enhanced consumers’ look via a trendy, fashionable accessory.  The company offered a more enjoyable process of checking whether the band is a winner by scanning the code with a mobile app, appealing to millennials who already like to fiddle with their phones and engage with online applications. In addition the variety of wristband designs and a further opportunity to win with each purchase encourage repeated purchases of the promoted product.