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Brand of the Week: The Coca-Cola Company

November 17 2017 by Jordan Kramer
Between the recent World Series, football, basketball, and hockey seasons - we’re in the thick of the peak of sports seasons. The Coca-Cola Company is taking full advantage of these opportunities, making sports publishers a big piece of their digital advertising strategy.
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With a re-launch of a popular beverage, in addition to promoting sub-brands such as Smart Water and Gold Peak Tea, The Coca-Cola Company has been busy this Q4. See how they are advertising in the US and Canada, plus how their strategy measures up to one of their top competitors in the latest Brand of the Week Report.

It’s [Baseball/Football/Basketball/Hockey] Season!

The Coca-Cola Company has always found a base within the sports category, serving as an official sponsor for many professional sports organizations. Over the last year, ESPN, MLB, Nascar, NBA, and NHL have all been top site targets for the food and beverage company in the US. 
Focusing on video advertising recently, the brand has invested nearly 60% of their digital advertising budget on video in the US over the last thirty days. In Canada, their strategy leans towards display advertising, consuming 90% of Coca-Cola’s CA spend. 
In the US, the brand has devoted over half of their site spend to top publisher ESPN, followed by MLB over the last month. In Canada, the brand targets their audience by focusing on the country’s top sport - hockey. Trip Advisor leads as the top Canadian site for Coca-Cola, featuring promotions for the Atlanta based World of Coca-Cola attraction, followed by NHL.com.
Here’s a peek at their site spend in the US over the last thirty days:


Great Coke Taste. Still Zero Sugar.

In a recent revamp for one of Coca-Cola’s best known soda lines, Coke Zero was recently rebranded to Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The overhaul included a refresh to not only the look, but their digital advertising creatives.
Launching in July, the new Coca-Cola Zero campaign has been a top priority for the company. Over the last thirty days, half of The Coca-Cola Company’s digital advertising spend has been devoted to Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Touting a “New & Improved. Real Coca-Cola Taste,” the soda line also capitalized on World Series hype as a sponsor of the LA Dodgers.
The top creative for The Coca-Cola Company recently is a fifteen-second video creative (below) originally launched on September 7th, running until November 11th for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The creative was targeted towards publisher ESPN, directing consumers to this landing page addressing the changes made to the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar recipe, and the reasoning for changing the soda’s name.


Coca-Cola Company vs. Dr. Pepper Snapple Company

Also riding the sports wave, Dr. Pepper Snapple Company has been promoting their Dr. Pepper soda line as “The Ones Fan Crave.” Featuring tailgating fans, and “referees” dressed up with Dr. Pepper apparel, ESPN has also served as the company’s top site over the last thirty days in the US.
Dr. Pepper Snapple Company is running more display advertising than The Coca-Cola Company, but a third of their budget is still going to video. The company’s current top creative is a 728x90 banner ad running on ESPN, in addition to Android Central, Mapquest, and Time. Dr. Pepper Snapple Company’s second top creative by spend and impressions is a thirty-second video creative (below) seen only on ESPN.
When zeroing in on ESPN in the US, and looking at the spend share between the two competing brands, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is winning the race. The company has just over 60% of the spend share, and 70% of the impression share compared to The Coca-Colay Company since January 1st. In the last thirty days alone, The Coca-Cola Company’s increased focus on ESPN brought them to the forefront with nearly 80% of the spend share between the two.
Dr. Pepper Snapple Company is also beating out The Coca-Cola Company on YouTube and Amazon. However, The Coca-Cola Company is finding an audience on sites not targeted by Dr. Pepper Snapple including MLB and Nascar. For two major brands, ESPN represents a key piece of both of the company’s strategies and we can expect this to be a continuous battle as campaigns go on.

See The Coca-Cola Company's Full Digital Advertising Strategy [Free Report] 

With the holidays quickly approaching, we can expect to see Coca-Cola's infamous polar bear campaigns make a return. The brand just released the first of its holiday creatives over the last two weeks, signaling the end of the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar campaign.

To see exactly how The Coca-Cola Company has been investing across digital over the last thirty days in the US, including device-type breakout, top sites, and programmatic data, with the latest Brand of the Week report.

Download The Coca-Cola Company's Digital Ad Strategy

About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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