Power Players 2009

Coca-Cola's Joseph Tripodi Is Ad Age's No. 24 Power Player

13 Billion-Dollar Brands Make for a Bubbly Portfolio

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Last Year
THE POWER: Once head of marketing at Allstate, Joe Tripodi has made the transition to the soft-drink world nicely, helping a once chaotic marketing organization gain some footing. Coca-Cola has been touted as the world's most valuable brand and has 13 billion-dollar brands to its name.

Pair that with award-winning marketing and key sponsorships of the Olympics and World Cup and you've got a brand portfolio that has worldwide appeal. The company also leads in innovation, with new packaging, like the 90-calorie mini-can and the 99ยข 16 oz. bottle. A new beverage fountain, the Coca-Cola Freestyle, also stands to revolutionize the beverage experience at quick-serve restaurants, as a single machine can dispense more than 100 drinks. And people listen when Coca-Cola speaks up. The company has begun rolling out a much buzzed-about agency pay-for-performance model.

THE NUMBERS: Coca-Cola saw revenue jump 11% to $32 billion last year. Case volume was up 5% worldwide. In 2008, its measured-media spend was $435 million, and first-half 2009 spending was $271 million, up 5.4%.

THE KEY LIEUTENANTS: Wendy Clark, senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities; Shay Drohan, VP-sparkling brands; Katie Bayne, CMO-Coca-Cola North America; Sarah Armstrong, director-worldwide media and communications operations.

THE CHALLENGE: Sparkling-beverage sales have been declining in North America, leaving Coca-Cola to look for ways to reinvigorate the market during a recession. Yet discussion of a tax on sugary beverages, such as sodas and juices, has executives worried. Meanwhile, the company invests in small, better-for-you brands, like Zico.

THE AGENCIES: Wieden & Kennedy is behind memorable Coke campaigns, like "Happiness Factory" and "Heist." MDC's Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Doner also handle creative for key brands. Starcom MediaVest Group is responsible for media buying.

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