A Summer of Buzz for Coca-Cola in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
December 30th, 2014, Caleb Marsh

A Summer of Buzz for Coca-Cola in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ramadan provides a significant opportunity for companies to advertise in the Middle East. In 2014 Ramadan was observed from 29 June to 27 July and Coca-Cola had a significant advertising presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during that period. The giant soft drink brand was an official sponsor of the massively popular FIFA World Cup and had a major advertising presence due to the number of World Cup viewers from 12 June to 13 July this past summer.

Coca-Cola also ran the #OpenUp advertisement campaign during Ramadan which according to Coca-Cola, aimed to encourage people to 'open up to each other, rekindle lost connections and mend unresolved tensions'. The #OpenUp campaign ran as several YouTube videos, which garnered over three million views combined.

YouGov’s market leading brand tracking tool, BrandIndex, which is the only daily measure of consumer sentiment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia tracked and measured the impact of Coca-Cola’s marketing efforts. Due to its multi-angled advertising presence, Coca-Cola’s Buzz and Index scores, as measured by YouGov’s BrandIndex tool, rose dramatically during the overlap of Ramadan and the World Cup (29 June – 13 July) - see results chart below.

Buzz asks YouGov panel respondents, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" Buzz scores can range from 100 to -100, with a zero score denoting equal positive and negative feedback. Index is measured as a conglomeration of several metrics, such as value, quality, satisfaction, and reputation. All measurements are for adults living in Saudi Arabia aged 18 and over.

Coca-Cola (SA): Index, Buzz and WOM Scores

01 May 2014 – 31 August 2014


Coca-Cola’s Word of Mouth (WOM) exposure also climbed significantly during the World Cup as well as Ramadan. These increases in Buzz, Index and Word of Mouth motivated a rise in both Consideration and Purchase Intent for the mega soft drink brand.

Coca-Cola (SA): Consideration and Purchase Intent Scores

01 May 2014 – 31 August 2014


Interestingly, there was no spike in Index or Buzz for Coca-Cola during Ramadan in 2013 (which was observed from 9 July to 7 August). Coca-Cola’s advertising success in 2014 is therefore further highlighted when comparing the rise in Index and Buzz in 2014 versus 2013.

We can see below that the increases in 2014 (measured from the beginning of Ramadan to the peak score during Ramadan) are significant, while the Index and Buzz scores during Ramadan 2013 remain fairly static with the Buzz score even dropping slightly. This is likely due to the fact that Coca-Cola did not have the opportunity to run advertisements relating to the World Cup and they did not run as significant a campaign for Ramadan in Saudi Arabia in 2013.

Coca-Cola (SA): Index and Buzz Change in Score, Ramadan 2013 v 2014

Analysis suggests the timing of Ramadan and the FIFA World Cup in 2014 created a fantastic marketing opportunity for Coca-Cola that they did not have in 2013. Coca-Cola capitalized on that opportunity with great results amongst residents in Saudi Arabia as evidenced by the increase in Buzz, Index, and other metrics found by BrandIndex which tracks over 500 brands across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

YouGov's BrandIndex could already be tracking your brand with up to 5 years' historical data - to request a live BrandIndex demonstration please email Kerry McLaren or Gaurang Kotak at info.me@yougov.com or call +971 4 367 0340.

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