December In Ghana has become a huge commercial undertaking, and various brands – both home-grown and multinational – have become competitive with the goal of cashing in during the holiday season.
One sure way brands do this is through activating at various events, concerts and festivals. While these events do draw crowds of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, the brand clutter can also make it difficult for brands to stand out and reach the audience.
A consumer at the Coke Studio set up at the 2022 Afro Nation. Photo Credit – Coke Studio
That is why when Coca-Cola hired EchoHouse Ghana Limited – the 360 creative marketing communications agency – to activate Coke Studio at the 2022 Afro Nation Festival that headlined artiste, such as Meek Mill, the agency’s focus was on how to make Coca-Cola stand out and engage consumers and festival goers in the most entertaining and creative way possible.
Earlier in 2022, EchoHouse had perfectly managed the re-launch of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar into the Ghanaian market, with the ground-breaking three-day Zero Gravity Experience. This experiential marketing undertaking provided new age brands another alternative to engage their consumers.
Armed with that success story, EchoHouse adopted the Zero Gravity experience but customised it to tell the Coke Studio story.
Coke Studio celebrates the unique ability of music to unite, uplift and provide a connection point for fans around the world to come together and enjoy a new experience. This made the Coke Studio activation at Afro Nation a key marketing activity for the brand.
Out of the world experience
During December In Ghana, celebrants want to have a memorable experience. A post card-worthy experience does not only wrap up their year, but also spurs them on for the year ahead. They are in to have fun and make lasting memories. EchoHouse pushed the Zero Gravity experience again. However, the experience was set in a music studio – the Coke Studio – where the consumers were no longer just consumers, but musicians making and performing their own live music at a venue where no limitation can hold them back. This represented the endless possibilities of what Coke Studio offers.
Youth cultural touch-point
Another main part of the EchoHouse activation for Coke Studio at Afro Nation was to give the brand another touch-point with young people. Music is a key part of the youth cultural experience, and so is photography. What was essential in the activation was to ensure that every consumer that experienced the Coke Studio activation at Afro Nation got a post card photo with the instant photography set-up.
While experiential marketing traditionally lives on the ground, EchoHouse knew this experience needed to have a life online. In partnership with the leading influencer management agency in Ghana, Influencer Africa, select influencers were recruited to support the digital amplification of the Coke Studio activation. These influencers needed to be relevant to the youth target and had to play in the key cultural touch-points that included music, dance and content creation.
Though influencers leveraged their platforms to give the Coke Studio activation a digital amplification, the holy grail is always user-generated content. These are signs of approval from the target you want to reach. A critical part of the EchoHouse execution was to ensure that consumers who interacted with the Coke Studio set-up documented their experience and created their own content to be shared on their platforms. This brought in added value and earned digital media to the campaign where people with considerable following and engagement on the campaign became another digital amplification outlet besides the influencers onboarded for the activation.
In the EchoHouse activation report, posting relating to the Coke Studio had a digital of 1.9 million. This did not include hundreds of user-generated content that were shared on other platforms, such as Snapchat and other posts that did not have the official hashtags #COKESTUDIOAFRICA, #ANG2022 and #SOUNDOFGH.
With 20,000 people attending Afro Nation during the two-day festival, more than half of the total number festival attendees visited and experienced the Coke Studio set-up.
>>>The writer is a Senior Account Manager at EchoHouse Ghana Limited, and was the lead on the Coke Studio activation at 2022 Afro Nation