Coca-Cola wins Cannes creative marketer of the year gong after 46 years of trying

Actually I’m not sure that’s true – Coca-Cola won its first lion in 1967 but has the Creative Marketer of the Year award (formerly Advertiser of the Year) been going all that time? But Coke’s award is certainly overdue.

And (naturally) it was predicted to win in 2013 here back in the summer.

Whatever you think about Coke’s sweet fizzy products (are you with Alex Bogusky or agin him?) the company has injected a big dose of some stimulant or other into its marketing and advertising over the past few years.

Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas says: “Most noticeable, when looking at its Lion winners, there is the perfect balance between the careful, consistent management of global brands and freedom given to local teams to adapt and innovate for their markets.”

Coke CMO and CCO Joe Tripodi says: “Creativity has been and always will be at the heart of our brands. It fuels our business – with consumers, customers, fans, agencies and partners all over the world. We are honoured by this recognition and grateful to our agencies and partners who inspire and make us better.”

Tripodi certainly has a top team of marketers at his disposal including a number of Brits headed by former Mother executive Jonathan Mildenhall. Coke has also chosen its agencies wisely, most notably Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam and, as Thomas says, seems happy to let them get on with it. Last year the company won the Outdoor Grand Prix for China with its ‘Safe Hands’ poster (above).

No idea why this award is dished out so early, Coke could have a bummer of a time between now and next June. Maybe it’s to ensure lots of Coke bookings.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.