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Coca-Cola as a brand truly drives its marketing efforts on great content marketing. On the second day of Cannes Lions Festival 2019, Islam ELDessouky, Head of Integrated Marketing Communications, Middle East, at the company, and Sasan Saeidi, CEO, Gulf, Wunderman Thompson, took to the stage  for the session ‘It’s the real thing’ to share some great examples of Coca-Cola’s content marketing efforts to connect with the consumers on the human level.

Saeidi said, “One of the biggest KPIs of building great content that becomes un-ignorable. Content marketing is about storytelling, but if you are a brand like Coca-Cola then content marketing is everything essentially the brand does.”

Saeidi gave an example of a brief that the brand gave to a bottle-making company in Indiana to make bottles in a way that even if they break, people would recognise it as Coca-Cola bottles. The bottles should also be made in a way that people recognise them even in the dark.

ELDessouky said that the best content marketing in the world is the one that connects at the human level. Content marketing is about human relationships.

Both Saeidi and ELDessouky shared a few content marketing lessons from the Coca-Cola campaigns done over a period of time. 

Taking risk

ELDessouky said that if a brand is really committed to its purpose then it needs to take a lot of risks.

Coca-Cola Ramadan campaign

Being choice full

The campaign is about unity and going against all odds.

Coca-Cola 'Mean' Joe Greene ad

Triggering evangelism

Thousands of South Asian labourers arrive in Dubai to work for a better future. They do it to support their family and to provide better education for their kids back home. But with an average income of $6 per day, they have to pay up to $0.91/min to call home, making it nearly impossible to connect with their families regularly. To give labourers in the UAE a few extra minutes of happiness, Coca-Cola created the Hello Happiness Phone Booth -- a special phone booth that accepts Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins for a free 3-minute international phone call, helping them connect with their families back home more often.

Coca-Cola hello happiness phonebooth campaign

Being human

Saeidi said we have all heard the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. You don’t know someone’s story until you sit down to talk to them.

Remove labels this Ramadan campaign

Be simple

It’s not always necessary to launch video campaigns. Some simple print campaigns also do magic at times.


It’s important to delight your consumers.

Inside the happiness factory long-form video campaign


One can inspire people through good content marketing campaigns. In the campaign, the hero of a gritty, car-racing videogame has a change of heart after drinking a Coke.  Instead of hijacking cars and stealing purses, he decides to give a little love.

Video game


This campaign is all about empowering women. Coca Cola created the first-ever Arab all-female football commentary crew to broadcast a live match during the Asian Football Cup tournament and was able to smash the stereotype of women as superficial football fans with limited game knowledge while providing a more inclusive entertainment experience for everyone.

Coca-Cola offside studio