Fanta ads won’t appear on linear television this year. 

The Coca-Cola brand is shifting dollars away from linear TV to digital — specifically to social channels, digital video placements and OTT platforms — to target Gen-Z teens where they are today. 

“Video is a really important medium for us, but we want to connect with teens how they are now consuming video, and that’s through online videos and OTT,” said Tutul Rahman, Fanta brand director. “We’re leveraging a format that we’ve always used but connecting with the new generation the way they consume it, which just happens to not be TV.” 

The move away from television is not only a reaction to where teens are spending time today but part of a strategy to use its media dollars to have an ongoing conversation with teen consumers through digital platforms. For example, Fanta is using an out-of-home campaign to drive consumers to Snapchat where they can use a Snapcode and augmented reality to add design elements of Fanta’s OOH postings in their snaps. 

During the second quarter of 2019, Fanta spent $336,000 on media, up from the $9,000 during the first quarter, per Kantar, which doesn’t track spending on social channels. In 2018, Fanta spent $5.4 million on media, down slightly from the $5.8 million it spent on media in 2017, according to Kantar. 

This year, the majority of Fanta’s spend will go to digital channels including social (the brand plans to spend on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter); digital video on YouTube and Vevo; and OTT via Hulu, Roku, Sony Crackle and PlaystationVue. A smaller portion of Fanta’s media budget will go to OOH placements and cinema advertising. The brand declined to give exact figures or breakout what it is spending where beyond noting that it didn’t break up its budget traditionally but is instead using the majority of its spend to foster conversation with consumers in digital channels. 

“It wasn’t like we took a chart and put percentages toward different executions,” said Jessica Kalish, senior manager of integrated communications for Fanta. “We tried to think of it as a whole ecosystem and how it all played together. Our OOH isn’t your traditional highway billboard. We bought placements in bus shelters and mall kiosks where there’s heavy foot traffic with the intent to entice people to interact with something that feels traditional, like an OOH board, and bring them into our social world.” 

That’s a strategy that can work for a brand that consumers are already aware of, according to Michele Sileo, managing director and partner at Eleven.

“Fanta has already achieved mass awareness. They have a group of brand evangelists, and to break into new customer demos, especially Gen Z, they’re going to want to use alternative platforms,” wrote Sileo in an email. “By utilizing digital platforms that offer two-way conversations, you can both build stronger relationships with these brand loyalists and spark bespoke dialogue with new, potential consumers and be more relevant to these groups.”

The brand isn’t only using Snapchat to drive that conversation. Fanta is also using its Instagram. The brand is using photos that its fans have posted of themselves with their favorite flavor, editing those photos by adding zany illustration based on the flavor and then posting the resulting photos on the Fanta Instagram tagging that fan.

That connection model is uniquely social and digital and something we want to embrace in the brand moving forward,” said Rahman. 

Using digital channels to drive a conversation with consumers about the brand is also a way for Fanta to stand out in a crowded beverage market where soda brands are struggling and seltzer brands are gaining market share. “There’s a lot more choices that are out there,” said Rahman. “We’re trying to separate ourselves from our competition with the tone of voice of the brand.” 

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