Wednesday, August 1, 2018

How Coke Leverages Mobile Tech for a Memorable Fan Experience

As digital technology continues to transform advertising, Coca-Cola is making strides to utilize new tech in its in-stadium advertising experiences. It’s safe to say that just about everyone is familiar with Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign, but with updates in tech, Coke is forced to try something fresh. The beverage giant is partnering with a company called MVP Interactive to provide memorable experiences for fans by using updated technologies like AR, VR, facial recognition, and more! Coke is setting an example for what the future of mobile experiences will look like with other huge sponsors for major sports leagues. Investments in AR/VR and facial recognition are destined to grow over the next several years as more and more brands turn to unconventional out-of-home advertising mediums.

Why New Strategies are Needed
Fans are expecting more out of their experience, and Coca-Cola marketing director Dori Silverman knows it: “The reason why the fan experience is so important is because as ticket prices escalate and as there are so many competitive things that you can do on a weekend, it’s becoming kind of hard to compete with that in-home viewing occasion.” She’s right. Many people are deciding to stay at home and watch games on the couch rather than paying for a high-priced ticket for a decent seat at a game. How can big brands crush the in-stadium experience?

So What’s Coke Doing?
To amplify the experience for its customers, Coke is doing some really cool things via mobile technology. At the Nationals Stadium in D.C., for example, Coke is using facial recognition to create morphing stations that digitally transform the user into one of the four U.S. president mascots that famously race every game. At Fenway Park in Boston, they leverage similar tech to create vintage-style baseball trading cards. Coke is trying to capitalize on the selfie-crazed and Snapchat filter-loving culture we live in. Another way they are using AR is, at multiple venues, allowing users to pick a catcher, pitcher, or batter and personalize your look to turn yourself into a bobblehead just by using a smartphone.

Personalization By Stadium
One of the challenges for Coke is the fact that some tactics do not work across all stadiums. For example, Coke’s Silverman knows that what works in New York at Citi Field may not work everywhere. Dedicated fans are aware of the history and traditions of their favorite teams, so incorporating something that resonates well with them means each stadium experience needs to be tailored. Coke also has acknowledged that they have a plan for generational differences amongst the fans at the ballpark. In order to combat this generational difference, Coke is providing physical tools like sponsored hashtag photo printers for the traditionalist fan. For the younger fan, it’s more about reaching them with AR/VR and through Snapchat filters and other mobile experiences.

Coke is changing the game when in comes to in-stadium marketing experiences. By utilizing hot new tech like AR and VR, Coke is nailing experiential marketing campaigns. I’d expect more and more awesome mobile branded experiences to be released in stadiums around the country as we roll into the start of new sports seasons.