Coca-Cola Company

Generating media attention

In search of the Belgian Coca-Cola Light man

In the nineties, millions of women worldwide swooned over the Coca-Cola Light man to Etta James’ ‘I Just Wanna Make Love to You’. His successors – the delivery guy, the window cleaner and the gardener – also set female hearts aflutter on five continents. In 2014, Coca-Cola went in search of the first Belgian Coca-Cola Light man. Our mission? Generate (media) attention! 

Precisely twenty years after the first commercial, Coca-Cola launched a unique campaign in Belgium. As the primary target group, women were encouraged to enter their personal Coca-Cola Light man for the competition via every available channel. The campaign kicked off on 27th May 2014 in Brussels. A number of enthusiastically received visits to editorial departments got female Belgium very excited about the idea and this resulted in 650 entries. The campaign was featured in the national media, both in print and online as well as in the audiovisual media. In all, some 140 articles were published on the search for the Belgian version of the iconic hunk. The impact on social media was also huge. To top it all off, the campaign won an IBIS award in the B2B category.

On 27th May 2014, nine handsome gardeners met up in the Warrandepark. RCA designed postcards they could use to convince passersby to nominate their ideal Coca-Cola Light man. The gardeners created quite a stir and the initiative was very successful.

To generate media attention immediately after the launch, we dragged our nine gardeners and a truckload of Coca Cola Light cans along to several editorial departments. We were made to feel quite welcome – in particular by the female employees. A digital press release was sent to current affairs & lifestyle media, naturally to the specialised women’s press as well, and also to a select group of bloggers.

The 650 entries were reduced to 50 candidates who could then be voted into the top 20. The surviving candidates were immediately put to the test in a professional photoshoot. In the next stage, ten tickets to the final were up for grabs as ten duos faced off in an online battle on ten consecutive days. The photo shoot and the duels resulted in loads of fun footage and were closely monitored by the national media.

The ten finalists then faced off in a thrilling final where their style, sense of humour, charm, athleticism and dexterity were put to the test one last time. Apart from the three-strong jury (Jani Kazaltzis, Elodie Ouedraogo and fashion blogger Sophie Ismail), quite a few journalists and bloggers were also in attendance. After the event we sent out a press release announcing the winner and we aired a teaser of the contest.

The final was a very tense affair with Tuur Roels as the deserved winner. The first Belgian Coca-Cola Light man also starred in a great ad that was featured in such magazines as Flair, Libelle and Femmes d’Aujourd’hui.

The icing on the cake was the IBIS Award the campaign received on 4th December 2014 in the category ‘Business-to-Consumer Product Communication’. The awards were presented by professional organisations 3C (Corporate Communications Community) and BPRCA (Belgian Public Relations Consultants Association). The creativity and the ROI of the campaign are what convinced the jury. Congratulations to Coca-Cola and of course RCA Group’s PR team!

Teamwork

  • Communication counselor:Dorien Cox
  • Copywriters:Stephanie Georges, Herman Staelens
  • Art director:Davine Motmans

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