8th Jul 2016

Coke TV: Influencer innovation or obvious advertising?

A few months ago soft drink giant Coca Cola launched it’s new “CokeTV” Youtube channel, in a bid to reach out and connect with “millennials” and whilst it’s another great example of how seriously big brands are taking influencer marketing, could it end up being a step in the wrong direction? 

The channel, hosted by vloggers Dodie and Manny is a collaboration channel featuring various Youtube Vloggers and is Coke’s newest way of targeting the youth audience. Weekly short episodes focus on themes popular amongst young people such as gaming, sports, music, fashion and will see those involved take part in challenges and skill building exercises.

When it comes to marketing it’s fair to say that social media influencers are very rapidly closing the gap on even minor celebrities. From a brands perspective Youtube has so much more power than the likes of TV advertising when it comes to reaching large audiences.

What could go wrong?

The problem with influencer marketing is that is needs to be authentic and relevant for the brand, the audience and the influencers themselves.

The Youtube influencers hosting CokeTV come from humble beginnings, making low budget, authentic homemade videos in their bedrooms, it’s what made them so relatable in the first place. Throwing a professional production team into the mix a long with a lot of branding, risks these influencers going from authentic influencers to nothing more than presenters, losing all authenticity for both the brand and the influencers.

Does it really work?

It’s rather difficult to work out if this form of marketing really works for a brand already as large as Coca Cola, it’s not like they really need to work with influencers in order to reach new audiences, they own the majority of the soft drink marketing after all.

There’s also the chance that most people watching and subscribed to CokeTV are only there because they’ve come from Dodie and Manny’s channels. These viewers are there because they want to know what their favourite you tubers are up to, not necessarily because of Coca Cola.

Even for something so obviously branded as CokeTV, it’s intense, there’s so much branded content, from the Coke bottles in the background to the cheesy swig from a coke bottle after every challenge, it’s just too obvious. Young people aren’t stupid, they’re already aware it’s commercial content, there’s no need to cram in even more branded material, with even fans seemingly put off by the overly commercial content.

What can we learn?

Coca Cola is just another brand trying to secure their place on Youtube and to be fair they’re doing it well. People are talking about it, people are watching it and with 21000 people subscribed to the channel in less than 3 months, it’s doing something right.

CokeTVs strongest point is the featuring two incredibly popular vloggers to host the episodes, this brings in subscribers from name alone, many wouldn’t think twice about watching or subscribing to a channel if it featured their favourite influencers, it’s a hugely effective way of marketing and something that even smaller businesses should take on board when thinking about influencer marketing.

If anything CokeTV proves that the potential success for influencer marketing is even greater than before and is something that both small businesses and larger businesses should be embracing sooner rather than later. 

Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 8th July, 2016
Categories: Marketing

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