Coca-Cola’s Secret to Storytelling

Coca-Cola applies the “water cooler test” to determine whether blog, photo and video content is compelling.

Coca-Cola recently redesigned its website for the “Coca-Cola Journey” campaign. The company’s digital communications and social media manager, Ashley Callahan, explained how to create compelling content and track the results in this video presentation sponsored by

Coca-Cola grew its social media channels by 100 percent beginning with the relaunch of its website in an editorial magazine format. According to the company’s metrics, its audiences are most interested in food, company history and jobs. Success metrics include website visitors, sharing and media coverage of the “Coca-Cola Journey” stories.

The campaign’s content generated 2,400 page views. Coca-Cola’s marketers considered whether stories were novel and focused on topics of interest. Every article was weighted on views, shares and bounce rate, which resulted in an expression-of-interest score.

The company applies the “water cooler test” to determine if blog, photo and video content is compelling:

  • Does it answer the “Why should I care” test?
  • Does it surprise you?
  • Is it compelling with universal appeal?
  • Is it being measured systematically?

Callahan, a former journalist, said content with images and mini lists such as “2 things you should know” work exceptionally well for social media channels, and that each platform requires a customized approach. One of the company’s newest features includes user-generated content by Coca-Cola’s customer communities.

Rather than monetize its audience, Coca-Cola hopes the publisher framework will double its audience by 2020 and is focusing on social platforms like Instagram.

*video credit: The Coca-Cola Company: The Power of Coca-Cola Journey — presented by Ashley Callahan from on Vimeo.