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Coke’s Cause Marketing Campaign Ties to Super Bowl, as Pepsi Sits Out

Coca-Cola is jumping on the cause marketing bandwagon with a campaign that extends its Open Happiness theme while giving Facebook fans an advance look at its upcoming Super Bowl ads - and while taking advantage of Pepsi’s decision to sit out the Super Bowl.

Each time a Facebook user passes a virtual Coke along to a friend, a $1 donation by Coke to Boys & Girls Clubs of America is triggered. As a “reward,” users get a 20-second sneak peek of the brand’s Super Bowl ad. Coke plans to give up to $500,000 to the charity. (via MediaBuyerPlanner).
Another effort in Coke’s Open Happiness campaign was a YouTube video taken of a specially equipped Coke machine that dispensed, among other things, a pizza, a 6-foot sub, flowers and balloon animals to unsuspecting students of St. John’s University in Queens, New York.

The video generated nearly three quarters of a million views within its first 24 hours.

In and Out of the Super Bowl

Coke also plans to use two animated billboards during the Super Bowl to suggest that viewers visit a website,, to learn how to boost donations to the Boys & Girls Clubs and to support the Red Cross’s work in Haiti, reports MediaPost.

Coke’s donation element in its Open Happiness campaign, and the way the element is tied to the viewing of the brand’s Super Bowl ad, could be seen as an effort to gain market share by taking advantage of Pepsi’s absence from the big game.

Pepsi is sitting out the Super Bowl for the first time in 23 years, because it says its own cause-marketing campaign, the Pepsi Refresh Project, is too difficult to explain in a :30 spot. PepsiCo also said that each of its brands has a “strategy and marketing platform that will be less about a singular event.”


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