Sep 21, 2009 at 01:19 PM
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Coke Kicks Off FIFA Campaign with Powerful Presser

Coca-Cola brought today's World Cup sponsorship announcement to the press via the web. If you were up at 5 AM eastern time, you too could have virtually attended and even submitted a question to the press conference, kicking off Coke's sponsorship campaign which is available for viewing in full here.

Coke's integrated campaign will center around the question "What's Your Celebration?" The campaign will highlight the diversity of celebration dances of each team. According to Coke CMO Joseph Tripodi "a digital campaign will engage consumers in a way that teens are doing more and more whether online or social networking... a continuous non stop loop of fan celebrations streamed throughout the world." The UGC element will focus on an online promotion that lets fans upload videos of their own celebrations. As usual, commemorative packaging will be included in the campaign.

The end goal, to leave a lasting impact of sustainability in Africa.

And after such a beautiful presentation, the first Q&A was squarely focused on the cost to Coca-Cola's sponsorship. The gall.

Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent answered by telling us about the benefits, not the costs. "There is no other passion that comes even close in terms of exuberance of that passion that is displayed so vividly at the World Cup and that is why we our partners and have a love affair with FIFA," Kent said. "We don't disclose the amounts we spend for competitive reasons."

On sustainability: Kent: "We can only have a sustainable business if we are able to create sustainable communities in every single market in which we operate, which is more than 200 countries... you can't do this because it reads good in your CSR report, you have to link it to your business and in our case water is one of the most important sustainability programs we have globally. We are the first large company in the world that has said we will be water neutral by 2020 and there is no better way to link it to the health and well-being of the communities we serve and therefore offering more access to clean drinking water is a wonderful way for us to link our business and our branding and our support of football as we will do with this program."

Hands down best question of the press conference:

"Do you think it would be in the best interest of the campaign to weaken the limits of the rules regarding goal celebration?"

Soft drinks and taunting... seems so "American."