Marketing for Thought

Attracting new markets online

The explosion of social media platforms has opened doors for brands and services to reach even more diverse, specific audiences.  With the majority of social media obsessors still between the ages of 16 and 24, companies have gone new lengths to appealing to a younger demographic.  But what works, and what doesn’t work?

Coca Cola “The AHH Effect” Campaign

Screen shot 2013-04-24 at 9.40.30 PM

According to an article on Fast Company, Coca Cola recently purchased 61 domain names, all variations of “” with different numbers of h’s, in their most recent effort to attract a younger demographic.  Each webpage has interactive games, YouTube videos, and gifs that will remind teens that Coca Cola is the perfect refreshment.

The site’s content will be updated every two weeks based on hits.  If teens aren’t enjoying certain games or videos, they will be removed.  Ideas for content will also be contributed from other brands targeting the same age group including Vevo, as well as teens and young artists themselves, creating a community where people can share their “ahh experiences.”

There are no television ads for their latest campaign, but all content is designed for mobile application in “snackable” doses. “They can dip in, dip out, and move on,” Pio Schunker, senior vice president, integrated marketing communications, Coca Cola North America Group says, adding, “and if you look at the way teens consume tweets and posts and texts, that’s pretty much their behavior.”

While I agree that targeting teens through interactive social media platforms is key for reaching that demographic, I can’t see how teens, with so many different aps, social sites, and gaming sites available, will choose to go to or or to play or watch Coca Cola designed content. Why spend time on ah aps or webpages when can you search for specific content you want to watch or see directly on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter?

It is a creative length and an extremely interactive digital campaign, but at what point will people reach out to this site over their own social media obsessions? Maybe I fall too far outside their target demographic or am skeptical to games with brands plastered all over them, but what is going to make young kids choose this site over the original? It will be interesting to see what works over time.

Dodge Dart Online Car Registry

Wieden + Kennedy Portland, the same company who created the “AHH Effect” campaign above, invented an entirely new way to purchase new cars.  The Dodge Dart online registry works similar to a wedding registry, providing a platform where the potential car owner can personalize the car and then different people can sponsor parts of the car.  Using social media sites, you can pitch family and friends to sponsor parts of the car.  Users have 90 days to get the entire car sponsored.

There are currently 6,000 active accounts with over 500,000 needed parts, and only 1,330 parts have been fully funded.  While these numbers seem daunting, this market effort is not considered a failure.  According to Forbes, the marketing campaign has built a relationship with younger users who have spent the time to customize and familiarize themselves with the different parts and features of a Dart automobile.

The Chrysler Group recognized a problem: younger demographics can not afford a new car.  They are paying off college debts, trying to find a job, maybe they just graduated high school.  They are in the market for a car, but there is no way this target profile can afford a new car on their own.  This crowdfunding has given millennials the chance to petition for a new car, completely customized for their preference.

Only time will tell which campaign will be more successful and effective. What do you think?




This post is a part of a series of posts for Integrated Marketing Communications class that explores strategies of integrated marketing communications and recognizes strong and weak branding strategies today.





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