In the face of pricecutting, Coke sought a deeper engagement with Malaysia’s Muslim majority.
Ramadhan is the biggest celebration of the year in Malaysia. The country’s 17.5 million Muslims (64% of the total population) fast from dawn to dusk. It’s also the biggest month of the year for Coca-Cola and in 2012 this period accounted for 18% of the brand’s annual volume.
Success has come from understanding the rituals of Ramadhan and role that Coke plays at meal times during the break of fast. The first moment of breaking fast is often celebrated with sweet drinks like hot tea or the local rose syrup drink. Sparkling beverages such as Coke are normally consumed during main meal – known as iftar – or at the relaxing period after Ramadhan prayers.
Coke’s rivals have taken note of its success and are also targeting these occasions. Their strategy has been to grow volume and share via price cuts. Coke’s challenge was to move beyond price and build an iconic connection with Malaysia’s Muslims that would build both volume and in-home consumption with food. If Coke wanted to be the main drink on the table during the Iftar, it needed to engage at a higher, more emotional level. Critically it needed to create clear blue water between its brand, the holiday advertising clutter and its rivals’ price cutting strategies.
Coke would create ways to thank mum for her hard work.
Ramadan is a month of change. Fasting causes Muslims to modify daily routines and behaviour.
Mediacom identified three key changes that were critical to building a credible platform for Coca-Cola:
•Rewards on the rise: Consumers allow themselves and their families to be treated for the act of fasting during the day. Treats are usually in the form of food and beverages. It needed to position Coca-Cola as one of these rewards and convince moms to stock Coca-Cola at home as part of the “reward” for fasting the entire day.
•Stronger togetherness and sharing: The act of breaking fast is a social occasion, treated as an opportunity to share auspicious moments with family and friends.
•More in-home consumption: Most Muslims prefer to breakfast at home with their family, especially in the first week of Ramadan.
Coca-Cola needed to be in tune with the values that Ramadhan presents – happiness, togetherness, re-connection, renewal, optimism and celebration – as well as its own brand values of positivity and happiness. Mediacom strategy would be to encourage Muslims to demonstrate their piety via small acts of kindness spread through the community, and bring this to life via the “Sebarkan Semangat Ramadhan” (Spread the Ramadhan Spirit) campaign.
Specifically the agency would focus its efforts towards both the underprivileged – the traditional target – and mums, who work incredibly hard at this time. As the COO of the household, mum has to fast as well as work, clean, take care of husband and kids and prepare special food ready for the family at iftar. The campaign would win mums’ hearts by rewarding her and her community, spreading the Ramadhan spirit and inspiring mums to share their goodwill.
Coca-Cola gave away family meals to Malaysia’s most deserving mums right across the country.
Mediacom targeted the message to Spread the Spirit of Ramadan at mums and set out to ease mom’s chores and the burden of managing the home. In partnership with local Malay radio station HotFM, it organised a contest to give away family meals in the iconic “Mangkuk Tingkat” (tiffin carrier) paired with an iced-cold 1.5L Coca-Cola so that they can have a refreshing iftar with their family without the hassle of preparing and cooking the meals. This goodwill is not just for mums, but for her whole community as well.
To kick start the campaign, Coca-Cola asked listeners to nominate someone who deserved this experience with the most compelling stories winning. Entries were submitted online and promoted via on-air radio promos and DJ mentions during talk sets. In total, it provided this experience in all four regions of Peninsular Malaysia across eight locations. At every event, DJs and radio cruiser personalities were present to interact and connect with the consumers. This entire experience was captured by press, social media, and even aired on Malaysia’s no.1 prime time news programme.
Every location’s visit was recorded with the video seeded on YouTube and Facebook which drove even more participation as they get to see the experience that Coca-Cola brings to moms and their community.
Coke celebrates mums and mums celebrate with Coke, driving up sales volume by more than +11% in a crowded category.
The experience was so engaging it attracted HotFM’s highest participation rate in more than three years. Coke gave away 5,000 meals and 23,000 Malay consumers shared the Ramadan Spirit at its events.
The campaign earned extensive media coverage including TV’s no.1 prime time news programme, the no.1 Malay and Chinese newspapers and online. Total coverage is valued at RM 2.1m ($628,813), a return on investment of 2.6:1 from this element of the campaign alone.
On social media it gained nearly 70,000 Facebook likes and engagement on Coca-Cola Facebook page rose 814% on the same period of 2014. Spontaneous Ad Awareness hit a new all-time high of 84%. Brand awareness reached an incredible 90.5%. On both measures Coca-Cola was 20% ahead year-on-year.
Most importantly, this campaign delivered business results. Sales Volume share increased by +11.4% and “goes well with food” scores increased +0.7% vs. last year in a highly competitive category and consumption intent rose +3.8%, a clear indication that the campaign truly connected with consumers. Brand Love scores increased from 42% to 54%.