How Coca-Cola Uses Co-creation to Crowdsource New Marketing Ideas

In this interview, Coca-Cola Asia Pacific regional director Leonardo O’Grady explains how the soft drink giant utilizes crowdsourcing as a tool in its innovation strategy, the role of social media in co-creating product concepts with consumers and how crowdsourcing has changed the company’s relationship with its world-famous brand.

When Coca-Cola’s ad agencies ran out of ideas for a marketing brief, the company decided to turn to an online community to crowdsource some ideas. By using co-creation Coca-Cola was able to generate thousands of new ideas from a global community of creative individuals, giving it a huge amount of content to inspire future marketing activities.

In this article, regional director Leonardo O’Grady explains how Coke managed its early crowdsourcing experiments, how winning ideas were selected, what its measures for success were in these early campaigns and how it communicated lessons learned from them to its far-flung staff and ad agencies.

O’Grady also discusses how crowdsourcing has changed Coke’s relationship with its brand. Today, consumers are easily able to create their ideas and upload them on the web, which could work in favor of the company or against it. But by remaining open, it has been able to find find and build relationships with high-quality content creators whom they would have never met otherwise.

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