Guido Rosales understands that establishing a successful bond between a brand and consumers takes flexibility. As Director of Latin America Advertising Strategy for the Coca-Cola, he has experimented across multiple channels in the face of social and economic crises but so far has managed to deliver a positive message to the brand’s Latin American audience. As part of our coverage on this year’s Cannes Lions Festival, PSFK spoke with Guido Rosales on why innovation is synonymous with learning from past mistakes.
You’re back at Cannes, Guido. How do you think the industry has changed over the last 12 months?
The world is continuing to morph into a new social environmental system. The whole industry is re-thinking the way we create resonance and relevance for our brands. The industry is evolving and continuously adapting itself to the different factors that are impacting our environment, from technology to market and resource uncertainties.
Technology, as you know, is changing fast. Mobile innovation is leap-frogging computers, and smartphones and tablets penetrations are growing year over year. The digital experiences of gaming, TV and social interaction, and the retail/shopper experience are surprising us every day.
The Market uncertainties are strongly influenced by the younger generations (Generation Y and the upcoming Generation Z) that are changing standard consumption habits. They are born digital, with a digital brain. They are creating a new language via technology, and if you don´t speak the same language, you are out. They are in search of new experiences, and they want to take action. They are not as passive as the previous generations.
Competition is coming from everywhere; it’s not only the brand that is in your category. All brands are competing for share of attention in order to build an emotional bond with people.
Consumers have more information and have more choices of products and services.
Our customers require more customization and differentiation than ever. Partnerships and alliances are rising all over the world.
The Resource uncertainty is coming from new talent inside organizations, new and different skills, and new ways of motivating our employees. Organizations must take a more holistic approach, implementing new structures that are more flexible and adaptable to the new environment.
Those who are adapting faster to these changes are the ones that are leading the industry.
What recent marketing from Coca-Cola Latin America illustrates how your work is evolving?
I think our Streaming and Innovation Lab projects are the ones that best illustrate how we are evolving and adapting to the new environment.
With Streaming we want to revolutionize our approach to marketing, making it more social, desirable and democratic. It should be relevant to people without interrupting what they are interested in. We want to create a unique experience, distributing compelling and amazing content and generating social conversation among our consumers. Streaming is our proprietary communication network where we deliver branded content.
Under Project Streaming we have launched Coke.FM and Coke.TV
Coke.FM is our digital radio, where we are going beyond a traditional Internet Radio Station turning Coke.FM into an audio and keyboard experience for the audience. It’s a place where teens can express themselves. We have an online player with premium programming, and everything is connected to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. In some cases, as in Mexico, we even have our own studio.
The average listening duration is around 15:25 minutes connection per user.
Coke.TV is our own Digital TV Channel. It’s a new way of reaching the youth market, offering a unique social and entertaining experience. It’s a proprietary streaming system that broadcasts high quality video across social networks (Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and screens.
Our challenge is to deliver one drop of content that needs to be social, liquid, impactful, and universal, with a positive message that spreads the drop of happiness to our audience.
So far we have great results, exemplified by last month’s streaming live broadcast of the Paul McCartney concert at El Zocalo in Mexico City. The streaming drew more than 1.4 millon visits, with people spending more than 23 minutes on our channel.
Last but not least is the Innovation Lab. This is a process that we began testing two years ago, where we push our key partners (creative agencies, production houses and digital agencies) to bring us new ways of building consumer experiences. The idea here is to develop unconventional ideas that can amplify our brand storytelling in a compelling and unique way, often outside the confines of a creative brief.
It’s a trial and error process. We can fail, we know, but at the end we are learning and evolving our way of doing marketing.
What aspects of marketing do you think Latin American marketers are leading the way in?
I think innovation and flexibility. And I think this is because of the expertise that we gained as the result of the many difficulties that we have confronted in the past: social economic crises, consumption downfalls, market instability, etc. In order to survive we started doing more with less. We developed an instinct that enables us to see positive opportunities even during moments of crisis. We have adapted quickly to fluctuating markets conditions, and we brought creative solutions to an adverse environment.