Sprite reaches out to teens with social network

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola is launching a mobile social platform to attract teens to its brand.

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola is launching a mobile social platform to attract teens to its brand.

Sprite Yard is set to launch in the United States on June 25. Users can set up profiles and access free content on "Sprite Yard" through their mobile phone. Additionally, a code number will be included in 20 oz Sprite bottles that allows users to download sharable content, like ringtones and animated shorts. 

Mobile technology is pivotal in reaching out to the teen market, Denis Sison, global brand director for Sprite said. "As everybody knows, teens are very fickle-minded, they're multitasking, they're media savvy, and they're always on the go," he said. Sison declined to disclose its budget.

Sprite Yard's objective is to make a connection and to increase relevance with young adults. The campaign's effectiveness will be measured on several factors, including whether it improves the brand's image among teens. The initiative might be expanded to other Coca-Cola brands, he added. 

The company has been careful to let the social network grow its "coolness factor" through word of mouth marketing and Web presence, rather than a corporate push.  "We don't believe something of this nature is something you want to make a big splash about and advertise on television," Sison said.

The company doesn't expect the marketing tool to compete with mainstream social networking sites.

"We want to make it clear that we don't believe that we are competing directly with the Facebooks and MySpaces of the world," Sison said.

Sison predicts mobile technology will eventually be a primary source of information and entertainment. "So we as marketers are going to want to accelerate that move by trying to increase and make richer the experiences" offered on cell phones," he said, about the campaign.

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