IW Group and Coca-Cola Partner on Chinese-American Program

Coca-Cola in-language tray mats in a restaurant in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

Objective

The Coca-Cola Company collaborated with IW Group to help leverage its iconic Coke brand along with other beverages such as Minute Maid®, Simply Orange®, Dasani® and Sokenbicha® in the Chinese-American community.  The goal was to also drive purchase consideration of products that can serve as key ingredients in Chinese cooking. These steps were taken to help build awareness amongst an audience group where tea-drinking is ingrained in tradition and a part of daily social activity.

Process

For Chinese-American consumers, welcoming the Lunar New Year is equivalent to the western Christmas celebration. It’s a time of family celebration coupled with enjoying sumptuous meals.  IW Group and Coca-Cola capitalized on this important cultural passion point, which was the perfect avenue to infuse the brand’s “Open Happiness” platform. With an integrated marketing execution anchored on the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, Coca-Cola was able to build on heritage and underscore the recognition of enjoying life’s special moments with family and friends.

The campaign incorporated in-language TV, radio, print, out-of-home, events, in-store merchandising and PR. One of the highlights of the program was the street team distribution of customized recipe booklets, which included popular dishes such as Coca-Cola® Chicken Wings. This was warmly received by customers because it served as a special Lunar New Year gift that they could share with their loved ones. It also became an inspiration in meal preparation for the New Year festivities.
Key San Francisco neighborhoods, Chinese supermarkets, restaurants, laundromats and other small stores were equipped with culturally relevant in-store merchandising that led to dramatic sale increases.  Product sampling also allowed Chinese-American customers to experience other Coca-Cola product offerings.

Results

The launch marked the first-ever successful Chinese-American market test in Coca-Cola history. Several of the neighborhoods that were part of the test now have newly activated Coca-Cola accounts and reinforced relationships with longstanding Chinese-American small business owners.

Street teams distribute recipes that use Coca-Cola.

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