Sunday, August 30, 2009

Coke's Pulp-Heavy Juice Takes China by Storm

3 Minute Ad Age: August 27, 2009

NEW YORK ( -- As it expanded in China, a country whose consumers were not used to carbonated sugar-water drinks, Coca-Cola heavily pushed its Minute Maid orange juice brand. And five years later, it's selling more than a billion bottles a year and sales continue to increase by double digits despite the recession. Meanwhile, the brand's latest UGC digital campaign has received more than a quarter million video and photo submissions in the first few weeks after it launched. Ad Age's Normandy Madden interviews Andreas Kiger, Coke's senior director of marketing in Shanghai, China.


Coke puts agressive drive to expand its business in China against closest rival PepsiCo while pressuring fruit-juice leader Uni-President. As in other regions, its heavy investment on Minute Maid Pulpy Orange seems to be an alternative strong push to steal shares in beverage category mainly owned by the tea king, Teh Botol. Nevertheless, the China case proves that brand building needs persistence (since 2005) and consistency in bringing to life a fresh big ideas that hooks the target consumers unfavorable to soda drinks.

The "How do you enjoy Minute Maid? (Pulpy Experience)" campaign that collected consumer generated stories in videos and pictures should give us an inspiration how to integrate local celebrity endorsement with various media maximization including digital.

One interesting point to notice: Coke adapted the brand name into Chinese to ease the pronounciation for Chinese tongues. Let's see if it works well without local adaptation in other part of the world.

Press coverage (AFP):