Tom Hidvegi, Creative Strategy Lead at Coca-Cola Latin America, explains the current challenges facing consumer brands and the actions Coca-Cola has taken in order to support customers in this changing world.
How do you interpret responsibility in your company?
For Coca-Cola responsibility means provoking and leading the conversations to make a difference and that need to be happening. Responsibility requires collaboration from everyone as we are all sharing one world. It is not one brand against another – we know we have a role to play, but we can’t do it on our own and everyone’s voice is equally important and valid on this journey. We must understand it will not be an easy journey and our task is to make it as open as possible, this is what we call Better Shared Future. It is especially exciting that creatives are increasingly being invited into boardrooms to take part in these conversations as creativity is a powerful tool with which to engage and why not mobilize it with consumers?
How do you integrate consumer expectations into your actions?
What is even more important than understanding what the consumers are saying, is being able to decode the subliminal messages which reveal the reasons for their feedback. In addition to data and consumer feedback, we use creative writing – getting hundreds of consumers to write a story related to the brand or concept. For example, for the recent launch of a new water product with recyclable packaging in Europe this methodology revealed consumer stories primarily related to being completely free. This had to be integrated into a packaging solution and resulted in one of the most eco-friendly solutions as these creative stories related to a stripped back connection to nature. There is a real strength in using creativity to power solutions.
How do you help consumers close the gap between intention and action?
Realistic role-modelling – accepting and admitting that an action gap exists, allows consumers to take those baby steps towards change without a feeling of guilt or embarrassment when mistakes get made. We live in a society where we are constantly under pressure – we know what we need to do to act but need someone to help us take the first step. We want to be the brand that inspires you and holds your hand as we embark on a journey of change, together.
What issues are brands going to be leaning into in a post-Covid world?
Firstly, mental health. First-hand experience of Covid-19 for so many of us, myself included, has shown us how important our mental and physical health is. We have seen over the past year and a half that a brand is not static, but a collective idea made up of real people who suffer and struggle. After the uncertainty we have experienced, we will lean into the data and prediction tools of our technological partners, which will allow us to support our employees and the consumers who love our brands. In addition, introspection, and a focus on being better will be unavoidable. ‘True’ and ‘transparent’ will no longer be just buzzwords that brands throw around. Gen Z will hold us accountable to acting on our promises, and our purpose – to Refresh the World and Make a Difference. It’s an exciting change as it will hopefully allow marketing and communications to move away from corporate to more creative processes which will be beautiful and powerful.
TO ACTING ON
AND OUR PURPOSE
You’ll soon be launching your new Christmas campaign; can you tell us about it?
Our Christmas campaign will continue the themes and essence of our recently unveiled new brand philosophy: Real Magic. Across all our markets, we are inviting everyone to celebrate the real magic of humanity – with renewed relevance for the world we live in today, through content and experiences that centre around meals and community, and in ways that only Coca-Cola can./