[Campaign Review] Coca Cola’s #ThatsGold took a leap for Gold amongst Olympic campaigns


The curtains have dropped on the Rio Olympics, but the Games have left a lasting impression on our hearts and minds. Emotions running high, athletes from around the world congregating at the carnival city. Some left with medals, but each and every person at Rio left with memories.

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage conglomerate, has been associated with the International Olympic Committee for 88 years. They have been official sponsors of the Olympic Games since 1928, and commemorated their association by formulating a special campaign, not around achievements but memories, feelings, and emotions with #ThatsGold.

The company collaborated with numerous athletes such as American swimmer Nathan Adrian, Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke and British athlete Jodie Williams. A new set of TVCs were created to promote the campaign across the globe featuring clips from previous Olympics and quotes from previous winners at the Olympics, describing ‘What does Gold feel like?’


Emphasizing on the spirit of the Olympics, the struggle and hard work put into their performance by athletes, Coca-Cola shared a series of videos on their Facebook and Twitter page. Athletes and celebrities constantly posted pictures and other media on Facebook and Twitter followed by #ThatsGold.

Event specific creative illustrations, videos and congratulatory posts to individual athletes and teams made sure Coca Cola rode the real-time engagement wave to the top of social media trends. Coca-Cola maintains separate Facebook and Twitter handles for a few countries, and they utilized every social media tool at their disposal. Simultaneously posted social media pictures and videos made sure the campaign reached out to a maximum number of people.

The company also urged followers to share the moments they thought felt like gold, congratulating or wishing luck to their country’s contingent or athlete on social media with the hashtag #ThatsGold.

Created by Ogilvy and Mather Brazil, Coca-Cola aired the campaign in about 50 countries, but their biggest tool was social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The Rio Olympics dominated social media throughout its duration, and Coca Cola’s collaboration with athletes resulted in a lot of visibility and influx of content for the brand.

#ThatsGold sustained its position among every other trend etching #ThatsGold into the minds of netizens all over the world.

What went well

As Coca-Cola already enjoys popularity in many countries, they have a colossal number of followers on social media making it much easier for them to harness the full potential of their marketing expertise, creativity, and goodwill.

Their tie-ups with athletes and popular celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest fueled the awareness around the campaign. Using a major sporting event such as Olympics to their advantage was a master stroke by Coca-Cola as people from around the world had their eyes glued to the Rio proceedings.

Relentless posts of well-crafted videos and creative illustrations kept user engagement high and their hashtag plastered on news feeds across the world.

Scope For Improvement

Although the campaign was extremely successful and popular on social media and on television, Coca-Cola did not succeed in acquiring the services or collaboration of many major celebrities and athletes.

Athletes with millions of followers such as Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt would have made the difference. Also, working together with sportspersons from different countries could have given their campaign the competitive edge in countries around the world.

India is one of the biggest markets for Coca-Cola but they failed to land an Indian athlete in the ranks of promoters which could have been avoided.

In the past

As their association with the Olympics is decades old, Coca-Cola has always created campaigns around the Olympic Games to make the most of the marketing opportunity available to them.

Previously, during the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and London Olympics in 2012, Coca-Cola designed campaigns around the Games that were immensely popular.

During the 2012 London Olympics, Coca-Cola ran their campaign ‘Move To The Beat’ with singers Mark Ronson and Katy B and created a music video, numerous TVCs which they aired in more than a 100 countries worldwide. They also came up with a television show called Coca-Cola Presents : Beat TV which featured interviews with athletes and celebrities every night.

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when social media had not fully bloomed into the fully functional marketing machine it is today, Coca-Cola capitalized on Bluetooth’s popularity to reach out to the people in Beijing.

With numerous Bluetooth hotspots offering users downloadable Coca-Cola content on their cell phones, Coca-Cola scripted another marketing landmark into their report card.

With a robust reputation of executing well thought out campaigns that resonate well with their target audience, Coca-Cola has breached many new heights with their previous campaigns.

Another noteworthy international campaign from Coca-Cola was ‘Open Happiness’ in the year 2009. They rolled it out in a number of countries over a few months time, collaborating with local artists and celebrities to promote it.

For the Indian market,where the company retains its numero uno status, they collaborated with Sachin Tendulkar to promote the ‘Open Happiness’ campaign.


Although the company left a few means of promotion underutilized by not collaborating with other famous athletes and any athletes from India – one of their biggest markets, the outcome of the campaign was nevertheless highly successful.

Their stature of a global brand is formidable with well established goodwill across the world. #ThatsGold can easily be described as using it’s very own identity, #ThatsGold.