Coca-Cola makes music for Africa, Paratus Communications

Campaign: Music for RAIN
Client: The Coca-Cola Company
PR team: Paratus Communications
Budget: £20,000
Timescale: March 2011

Coca-Cola has promised to provide at least two million Africans with clean water and sanitation by 2015 as part of its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN).

Earlier this year the company briefed Paratus Communications to promote the project and bring it to life through the launch of Music for RAIN.

The campaign was set to feature a fundraising soundtrack and videos with musicians Solange Knowles, Chris Taylor and Twin Shadow.

People could donate to the campaign via a 'donate to download' feature on the website


- To use two pre-recorded videos as a catalyst to spark online discussions about water access issues in Africa

- To encourage online donations to three specific projects in Africa, with a donations target of $10,000

- To raise awareness of Coca-Cola's online CSR hub,

- To generate 30 pieces of online media coverage

- To generate 600,000 total views of the two videos.

Strategy and plan

The PR team wanted to use the soundtrack and videos to grab the public's attention and get people talking online about water access in Africa, prompting donations.

The starting point was a pre-campaign audit, to find out what would make people focus on water access, and where best to promote the campaign.

Paratus looked at music bloggers, celebrity news sites and relevant online communities, as well as the more obvious media channels such as the Coca- Cola Twitter account and corporate websites.

The 'donate to download' microsite was created at, with information about the campaign and an easy way to donate in exchange for the exclusive track Kenya.

The story was initially given to a selection of independent music bloggers to create a buzz around the campaign before it was given to more mainstream media.

The artists involved in the project also shared the videos and campaign with their followers via Twitter and Facebook, and continued to engage with fans by thanking them for donations.

YouTube was approached directly and agreed to feature the videos on its channels on World Water Day. The videos were deliberately not uploaded to Coca-Cola branded YouTube pages, so the project retained the feeling that it was driven by musicians.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated more than 300 pieces of coverage, including on and in SPIN magazine. There were 900,000 views of the video on YouTube.

It was mentioned on social media 127,000 times, including endorsement on Twitter by high profile musicians such as Mariah Carey.


In fewer than ten days during March, the campaign eclipsed its $10,000 donation target, raising $13,321.


Adam Vincenzini, Head of digital, Paratus Communications

Music for RAIN was one of several campaigns we activated in 2011 to drive interest in Coca-Cola Europe's newly launched - a portal that showcases the brand's commitment to the communities in which it operates.

As with any new online destination, cutting through the noise and generating interest - and a response - is challenging, but the unique 'donate to download' mechanic associated with Music for RAIN created a mutually beneficial situation for all stakeholders.

It also created a great deal of sustained buzz among the music community.

This particular campaign had an impact in the eyes of our client for several reasons, but primarily because the results were so solid across each of the areas for which we were responsible, ranging from global blogger outreach to content seeding and placement.

Music for RAIN also saw us work closely with Dig For Fire, the company that produced the music videos.

Our ability to take this type of video content and give it the visibility it required has enabled our online video amplification service to be recognised and used by other parts of The Coca-Cola Company.

The most pleasing result of this campaign for us as an agency is that Music for RAIN part two is scheduled to be activated in 2012 and will see the artists involved visit the projects in Africa for whom the money was raised.


- The campaign had the desired impact on LivePositively - traffic increased by more than 1,000 per cent during the activity and was sustained by additional Paratus-led activity over the following months.

- The music video was watched more than 500,000 times on World Water Day, of which nearly 400,000 views were via mobile devices.

- Music for RAIN is regarded by Coca-Cola Europe as one of its most successful ever digitally led campaigns.

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