Chris Reed
May 11, 2012

Coca Cola refreshes Pure Michigan with innovative tourism partnership

I love this brand partnership just because it’s so innovative and unusual. Coca Cola and Pure Michigan have created a partnership marketing campaign.Images of Michigan’s sparkling waters, white ...

Coca Cola refreshes Pure Michigan with innovative tourism partnership

I love this brand partnership just because it’s so innovative and unusual. Coca Cola and Pure Michigan have created a partnership marketing campaign.

Images of Michigan’s sparkling waters, white sandy beaches and exciting destinations will soon be featured alongside the Coca-Cola logo in numerous places to inspire people to experience Pure Michigan.

There may be an issue here in terms of none of these places really have a  connection with Coke or have similar brand values to Coke as Coke is not natural like water for example but Coke is an all American brand which reflects Michigan’s values.

Coke and Michigan have decided that they are great brand partners and like other examples of drink brands and countries coming

together like Visit Scotland and Highland Spring it works.  The celebrated Pure Michigan campaign (its fresh, iconic scenes and simple

music, invented in 2006)  is so hot that brands want to link up with it and Coke has joined this bandwagon by paying for all the media and creative so presumably they saw Michigan as being a great brand vehicle for them to hook themselves too.

The collaborative effort will feature joint Pure Michigan and Coca-Cola branding on billboards, Coca-Cola delivery trucks, vending machines and in-store signs statewide. Michigan have come up with a masterstroke of marketing collaboration that is amazing in terms of ROI.

This is very similar win-win scenario that Visit Scotland and Highland Spring created whereby creative was mutually promoting both the country and the drink (see example) and was jointly paid for. A great example of win-win brand aligned partnership marketing.

Some of the 20 million people on Coke Rewards in the US will have the opportunity to win one of four Pure Michigan vacations through MyCokeRewards. Winning destinations include Mackinac Island, Traverse City, Detroit and the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Coca-Cola has a strong Michigan presence, with more than 2,300 associates and more than 36,000 customers statewide. The Company has eight distribution centers and three manufacturing facilities in cities across the state including Bay City, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Sault Ste. Marie and Traverse City. Coca-Cola has been operating in Michigan for more than 100 years.

Globally, Coca-Cola is interesting in pursuing initiatives that encourage healthy, active living in local communities (well you have to get rid of the sugar somehow!). This partnership aligns with that vision by supporting Pure Michigan in its promotion of local destinations and activities that encourage people to enjoy active family fun in the Michigan outdoors - possibly would have been a better idea to promote Coke Zero and Diet Coke rather than Coca Cola itself). Nevertheless it’s a great example of a truly community based, win-win and creative brand partnership.

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