Coca-Cola explores iBeacons as marketing tool for World Cup sponsorship
Coca Cola is testing the viability of using Apple's iBeacons as a major part of its marketing activity for major calendar events including the World Cup, for which it is a key sponsor. The FMCG giant has been developing a number of mobile initiatives over the past year, including its use of mobile marketing platform Weve, and is now looking ahead to how mobile tools can help it further integrate all its marketing activity around events such as the World Cup. Coca Cola Enterprise’s digital director Simon Miles told The Drum it is leaning heavily towards the use of iBeacons to help tie together its marketing plans around major fixtures like the World Cup, but also its brands throughout its licensing and restaurant trading. “We are looking long and hard at iBeacons and what they might bring to market. It’s very interesting. We have some good ideas which will come to market this year around this as there are big opportunities. “If you think that we can offer people various different offers and conversations with people depending on how close they are to our fixtures it can really help bring your marketing to life in a new way. What’s interesting is how we can integrate it. “What’s really interesting is where we can have iBeacons installed so a person will receive one message when in the car park, then a second, different one once they are in-store, in a way which can bring your message to life.” Coca-Cola is trialling the Apple technology, which is an indoor positioning system that works like Bluetooth to pinpoint a person’s location in a store and allows for push notifications, within its own canteen initially before scaling up its use, according to Miles. He said major events are difficult for brands to stand out, describing them as “difficult, noisy environments to cut through.” The Apple technology, which can also be used on Android devices, could help it cut through in new ways, according to Miles. “You can start to imagine what you can do to bring your campaigns to life at the fixtures like the world cup. “Even in supermarkets there are tens of thousands of product SKUs - how do you get yours seen? This will start to help us cut through. Also in the licence trade – in bars for example it’s hard to see what soft drinks are available as people simply can’t see over the bar – there are no visible signs. We can do that with iBeacons – the opportunities in different environments like live events, restaurants and licence trade – are big,” he said. The World Cup will take place in Brazil this summer. Last autumn American Airlines became began trialling iBeacons in its airports.