CASE: Coca-Cola

Iconic outdoor advertising works for Coca-Cola

In the summer of 2015, Coca-Cola ran an outdoor advertising campaign with iconic Dutch expressions. With this "Choose Coca-Cola" campaign, the soft drink producer shows the wide range of Coca-Cola. In the expressions, the iconic Coca-Cola bottles are processed in typical Dutch visuals: tulips, a kissing couple in traditional costume and the Amsterdammertje (Which is a pole on the street). Validators was curious about the effect of these iconic expressions on the brand transfer and the Brand DNA: how good is the brand still recognizable in a short contact? We examined it!


Using an online survey (n = 300), we tested three Coca-Cola outdoor ads for brand recall by showing them separately in a reel with different outdoor ads in the natural environment of an OOH (Umfeld). In parallel, another online study (n = 300) was conducted to determine the brand of DNA. In this study, the utterances were shown with a so-called peripheral filter in which the utterance looks as the consumer would perceive it in the periphery of the field of view.

The iconic expressions communicate the brand well
All expressions score above the Validators benchmark (75%) on brand record. The Amsterdammertje and the tulips are the most recognizable, with 90% and 88% respectively helping the Coca-Cola brand to play back. The kissing couple is recognized by 76% as Coca-Cola. The red-white colored expressions are well linked to Coca-Cola, because the brand is not confused with competitors, according to our Signal Detection analysis.

Iconic bottle provides strong brand DNA
The Amsterdammertje and the tulips are very good at communicating the brand during short contact. The Amsterdammertje is still recognized by 77% from the periphery and for the tulips this is even 91%. Both expressions thus fall into the category "Comfort Zone": the brand is well communicated and is easily recognizable from the periphery. The expression with the kissing couple scores less well on brand DNA: from the periphery, the expression is linked by only 30% to Coca-Cola. The advertisement therefore falls into the category "Visibility Issues", which means that the advertisement does not contain enough brand DNA to be recognized as Coca-Cola during a short contact. The iconic Coca-Cola bottle may be less recognizable between the kissing couple.

The Coca-Cola bottle is less recognizable between the kissing couple, expresses in the category Visibility Issues.
We know that on average consumers spend only 1 to 2 seconds on an outdoor advertisement. It is therefore important that the brand is immediately recognizable in short contact. Coca-Cola succeeds well with two expressions, because the Coca-Cola bottles lend themselves well to the iconic expressions. However, as shown by the kissing couple, the bottle must be clearly depicted to be recognizable. If you also want to use iconic expressions, make sure that the expressions are representative for the brand.

Do you also want to quickly identify how an expression scores on brand DNA, brand and message transfer? Validators already provides a clear Checkpoint report from three working days on which the most important KPIs are mapped.

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Bart Massa
Business Manager
06 30 40 42 97