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3 C's For Success - Creative Content and Context

It hit me like a ton of bricks while reading about Coca Cola's and Content Marketing Institute Guru Joe Pulizzi’s vision last month.  Pulizzi stated that "Coca-Cola is betting their farm on content creation." Going forward, the soft drink giant will rest most of its strategic marketing vision on the principles of content marketing.

As I stated in my late 2011 article “Why Context is King – and not Content!” one thing is crystal clear in my view – companies are beginning to finally see the value in creating rich content, the kind which inspires more valuable context and interaction.

So, how will Coca Cola address this new approach dubbed “Content 2020?”

They came up with ten chapters of their Liquid Content vision, from which I took three topics and transferred them into my vision on how I would set them into action for my dealership(s).


Creative Excellence:

I am sure you have heard and seen dealerships announcing their yearly scholarship award on Facebook or the local press. They select a student and highlight their achievements. The scholarship award is often a car, which will be given to the student for a certain time, photos are taken, maybe even some large advertising stickers are placed on the vehicle. The ceremony comes to an end – the student leaves the lot – the story is a wrap (End of the creative excellence).

Content Excellence:

Take it up a notch. To make this student/car story a liquid and linked content development story you may consider contracting this student - to write and report about her endeavor in the new ride. Let her take videos on how 17 or 18 people actually will fit in the Beetle; let her Foursquare about the spring break road trip and the gas she was saving with the Civic or how much she actually is in love with her new Yaris, which now carries the name “Puggle, which was found during a Facebook friends poll…

Similar to a shaken Coca Cola bottle  – this so-called liquid content will swap and spray all over, and a formerly stale story just became a more emotional and impacting life cycle story.


With its new marketing umbrella theme “live positively,” Coca Cola has found a way to outline stories on how their products will add significant value to people’s lives. The campaign reminds of the Volkswagen’s BlueMotion Roulette story, which took place in Norway and consisted of more than 40,000 participants (and NEW Facebook friends) placing bids on how far the Golf can drive with just one tank on diesel.

The message was clear defined: save at the gas pump and perserve nature by lessening your impact on the environment. Because you could only guess once 160.000 consumers actually went to the VW Blue Motion site in a time span of two weeks, studied the technology and fuel consumption, calculated potential gas mileage and placed bids for a chance to win the BlueMotion Golf.

With this kind of 21st century scavenger hunt, the consumer took engagement with a brand in their own hands. 6,000 Facebook posts from eager spectators were answered by VW – incredible number considering Norway is a small country.

So can you as a dealer duplicate this kind of success?

Yes, you can – maybe not in form or the scale of tens of thousands ofinteractions, but certainly you can apply these same principles. Just consider the Drive for the Cure event hosted by the Bergstrom Automotive, Grand Chute, WI in August 2011. With a Facebook Fellowship of almost 6,000 fans, news coverage on Channel Fox11 and an active approach of Q&A on the social media front, the group was able to raise their donation goal of $50k.

During the event, followers were able to follow the event’s progress – seeing spikes of Facebook interaction of more than 60 conversations, 70 views on YouTube – not even considering the word-of-mouth action which took locally place at the dealership grounds.

Even after the event, people were still commenting on the success and the approach for volunteering the next event! I guess you can say that here were some “Bergstrom” brand evangelists created.So,do we think this business was “positively impacting the life of their consumers” and used a good portion of social engagement and the principles of liquid content? Yes! And I love this story!


Coca-Cola wants to encourage creativity and bravery inside their marketing operations and developed the formula 70/20/10 which reads

  • <>70% of new content will be considered low risk content. Another name you can call it “bread and butter content.” This content should not take long to create and will weave into your entire content strategy
  • <>20% is an extension of the bread and butter content which has worked so far well in the past – this time newly packed with wording and “content”
  • <>10% of your content strategy will be new and totally hit on the meaning of creativity. It needs to revolve around your brand and totally new ideas, never done and/or used before.

The recipe will be successful when your new approach on content and context is continuously revamping new ideas and imagination and avoids recycling already portrayed ideas and themes from the past.So the proverb "No Risk - No Gain" seems to be the new approach on delivering genius content ideas spreading into a much wider context strategy down the road.

Please take also a look on how Coca Cola’s Joe Pulizzi had these videos for his Marketing team made, and to show them visual context of his brilliant ideas.




Bryan Armstrong
VJ, you always bring it home. Great job!
Chris Costner
Great read VJ! It is time to take more risks and break away from the pack. Thanks for sharing this.
Bryan, thank you. Just trying (as usual) thinking a lil' bit more out of the box and tickle the ole' cells in our messed up automotive ISM brains.
Absolutely Chris - I have three main slogans in my life philosophy guiding me through the automotive jungle. The first one is Apple's "Think Different" - the second is Nike's "Just Do It" and the last one is Sir Winston Churchill's "Never, never, never give up". Thank you for being a loyal reader of my "theories".

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