Correctly analyzing the marketing campaign’s target audience and establishing clear objectives can help brands define relevant dates and choose those that will have the biggest impact. “In an increasingly dynamic digital world, brands need to stand out year-round with different strategies,” says Kevin Geets, CEO of Madzuli Agency. The end goal of this approach is to offer consumers a personalized, appropriate, and relevant campaign.
According to Belgian marketing agency Madzuli Agency, four specific actions should be implemented to successfully leverage the holidays for seasonal marketing strategies to position products or services. A great example is Coca-Cola’s “This Coke is a Fanta” campaign in Brazil, which illustrated all four key aspects to seasonal marketing:
- Define the target audience and select key dates. Companies should first study the kind of audience they want to reach and their unique consumer behavior. Subsequently, they should develop a calendar with the most important dates of the year, highlighting specific days that may be of interest to their selected audience. In this first step, the Coca-Cola Brazil team identified the LGBT community as their target audience due to their increasing visibility in recent years, choosing to base their campaign around International Pride Day.
- Showcase different products for each important date. To increase service or product sales, brands should tie them to relevant dates that are somehow related to company values and product characteristics. As part of its commitment to diversity, Coca-Cola redefined the Brazilian expression “Essa Coca é Fanta” (“That Coke is a Fanta”) – often used as a homophobic term – by launching a limited-edition Coca-Cola can filled with Fanta soda.
- Strengthen customer relationship with target audience. Companies can reinforce their commitment and relationship with customers by setting up a calendar around dates that align with their audience’s profile. Coca-Cola’s message resonated so strongly with its target audience that the campaign’s impact was enormous. In just a few days, those limited-edition cans managed to transform a homophobic message into a symbol of gay pride for millions of people, many of which “started to create their own Fanta Cokes and uploaded videos to YouTube and other social media platforms that later went viral.” (Coca-Cola)
- Adapt campaign content and design. Another way to maximize the benefits of leveraging relevant dates for marketing strategies is to develop themed campaigns. Creating designs and messages that relate to a particular holiday helps make both products and brands stand out. To further drive its campaign, Coca-Cola not only modified the content of its cans, it also included a “This Coke is a Fanta, so what?” message on the front. In the back, the cans featured a message stating: “We created this special can to honor those who ignore labels, defy prejudices, and assume reality as it is. This Coke is pride. This Coke is respect. This Coke is Fanta.”
While there are many successful seasonal marketing campaigns, the “This Coke is a Fanta” campaign notably stands out. A key aspect contributing to Coca-Cola’s successful campaign, and what other brands should take away from it, is its understanding of how to capitalize on a highly relevant international date to spread a positive message and align its product with company values.