Coke is by no means is de-emphasizing digital, or spending less.
But the company is rethinking its approach to make it more
efficient and less scattered. In digital, "we are investing big
amounts of money," but "historically probably not in the smartest
way," Mr. de Quinto said. He gave one example: Coke runs an
estimated 300 apps worldwide, "but most of these apps, they have
less than 50,000 users or 100,000 users. That is nothing," he
Coke's new digital approach will be led by David Godsman, a
former Bank of America executive who on Dec. 5 joined Coca-Cola in
the newly created role of chief digital marketing officer. At Bank
of America, Mr. Godsman oversaw emerging payment solutions and
commerce capabilities. At Coke, he will be charged with leading
"the digital transformation of global marketing and align our
system around a single digital marketing agenda," Mr. de Quinto
stated in a memo to Coca-Cola employees this week announcing the
TV ads have played a key role powering Coke's "Taste the
Feeling" campaign, which launched in January. The effort, which was
led by Mr. de Quinto, is part of a major strategic shift by which
Coke is taking a "one-brand" approach uniting multiple varieties
like Diet Coke and Coke Zero in a single global campaign, rather
than running disparate spots. The ads also make a concerted effort
to put Coke bottles and cans at the center of every ad. That is a
departure from the previous campaign, "Open Happiness," which often
pursued loftier concepts with the product sometimes playing a
Mr. de Qunito -- a longtime Coke employee who took the CMO role
about two years ago -- has a philosophy that Coke's marketing
should balance brand values with product benefits. That translates
into ads that seek to tell a story, but also nearly every scene
shows people drinking Coke. "If you want people to love to drink
Coca-Cola, please show in your commercial people who love drinking
Coca-Cola," he said during his presentation, after mocking an old
"Open Happiness" spot that barely showed the product. "We are
re-Coca-Colizing Coca-Cola. We are going to the roots of what made
this brand big," he said.
To illustrate the approach, he showed an ad called "Break Up"
that debuted earlier this year.
"The brand values make people love your brand more. But if you
don't explain to the new generations what the category is for, all
the other categories will start attacking you," he said.
He added: "Some people were thinking that it is very complex to
deliver both things in the same commercial." He disagrees. "If one
agency tells me that I have choose between one or the other, my
election is clear -- I will change the agency."
Mr. de Quinto's approach has been to rely on a roster of
numerous agencies for "Taste the Feeling," rather than hand it over
to a single lead shop. Agencies that worked on the campaign launch
included Ogilvy New York, Sra. Rushmore of Madrid, Santo of Buenos
Aires and Mercado-McCann of Argentina. Other Coke shops, such as
Wieden & Kennedy, have been tapped along
"We don't have one agency of the record for any of our brands,"
Mr. de Quinto said. "We are doing constant pitches with a roster of
agencies. If there is an agency that is on the roster and they
don't win anything that is their problem. If they want to step
down, they can step down. We will continue working with the
Mr. de Quinto spoke Friday morning almost immediately after
Coca-Cola announced that CEO Muhtar Kent will step down in May
after eight years at the top. His replacement is James Quincey, 51,
who is currently Coke's chief operating officer.
Mr. de Quinto suggested he has strong ties with the incoming
CEO, including from when Mr. Quincey held Coke roles in Europe.
Before taking the chief operating officer role in late 2015, Mr.
Quincey was president of Coca-Cola 's Europe Group. He was
president of the Northwest Europe & Nordics business unit from
2008 to 2012.
Before taking the CMO job in 2015, Mr. de Quinto for 14 years
led Coca-Cola's Iberia business unit, which covers Spain and
Portugal. His native tongue is Spanish. From the stage on Friday,
he admitted his English is "pretty bad." So the nice thing about
Mr. Quincey, he said, is that "he is absolutely fluent in