Posted on February 11, 2016, at 1:15 p.m.
by Hannah MacInnis.
Product placement is one of the oldest tricks in the book, as well as one of the most effective. Why wouldn’t you want to drink the same soda or eat the same candy bar as your favorite TV star? That insight is why Coke saw “Grease Live” as the perfect opportunity to promote its product.
Positive public relations is the way to the success for any product, and Coca-Cola took full advantage of turning “Grease Live” into one giant commercial. How it had such a big place in an already huge production is a good question.
Coca-Cola paired up with FOX and Paramount Television to ensure that Coke was the only drink seen during the broadcast. Along with the product placement in the actual show, Coke also had various commercials, pre-show promotion and a social media campaign with the theme of “Grease.”
Walmart did something similar in 2015 during the live showing of “The Sound of Music.” This promotion worked out better for Coca-Cola because there was more of an opportunity to have the soda in a musical that fits its time period.
Coke set the bar high for future companies seeking the same level of publicity. Competitor Pepsi has been running commercials with the support of up-and-coming music sensation Tori Kelly, but Coca-Cola flew past Pepsi by running its ads during such a high traffic time for Fox.
As a positive effect of this partnership, 12.2 million people potentially want to drink Coke like Sandy and Danny.
Another major benefit that could come from this partnership is having the same opportunity for broadcasts in the future. A key component of PR is forming relationships; therefore, companies should seek relationships that will benefit them in a significant, long-term way.
One last aspect this campaign offered to Coke is credibility, which is another key component of public relations. Because FOX and Paramount felt comfortable integrating the Coca-Cola product into the set, the performance earned credibility with the consumers.
Overall, this was a great PR move for Coca-Cola. Next time you drink a Coke, will you be thinking of Danny and Sandy?