TASTE THE MADNESS
As Coca-Cola’s featured brand for its sponsorship of the NCAA men’s basketball season the past three seasons, Coke Zero understood the importance of establishing genuine relationships with such a coveted fan base. Taylor created a digital media platform on behalf of the “Official Fan Refreshment of the NCAA” to create numerous engagement opportunities that would help fans experience NCAA March Madness like never before.
Through an integrated marketing platform called ‘Taste the Madness,’ Coke Zero and Taylor created an opportunity for college basketball fans to showcase their unique, fanatical rituals and traditions during the 2009 season. Beginning in February 2009, fans visited TastetheMadness.com to upload their own videos and photos showcasing their passion for their favorite team. Selected fans competed for the chance to win a trip to the Final Four in Detroit and have their video featured in a Coke Zero TV commercial during the National Championship broadcast on CBS.
The ‘Taste the Madness’ marketing communications platform focused on three pillars which were integrated to create touch points between college basketball fans and Coke Zero during the regular season and throughout March Madness:
TastetheMadness.com: A Web portal that invited fans to share, view and vote for user-generated content (videos and photos) celebrating school traditions and fan rituals.
Mad Majors: Taylor identified and selected a network of 50 ‘superfans’ from Coke-sponsored schools to become official ambassadors for Coke Zero and the ‘Taste the Madness’ program. The “Mad Majors” spearheaded most of the video and photo content generation on TastetheMadness.com and were provided with tailored digital platforms to effectively communicate the initiative to their fan and peer groups via social media channels. In addition, Taylor created an incentive program, awarding trips to the NCAA Final Four in Detroit to the four Mad Majors whose school fan bases submitted the most content.
Mad Famous: All fans who uploaded content to on TastetheMadness.com were eligible to appear in a national Coke Zero TV commercial, which aired during the National Championship broadcast on CBS.
Additionally, Coke Zero partnered with CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis and college basketball legend Bill Laimbeer to promote Taste the Madness in three media tours during February and March.
Taylor’s “Mad Majors” provided an on-campus presence and voice at 50 Coke-sponsored universities in key markets nationwide. They contributed to the development of nearly 1,500 user-generated videos and photos that continually enriched the content of TastetheMadness.com leading up to and during March Madness.
More than 200 national and local media placements were secured, garnering more than 85 million earned media impressions, with media coverage extending across 32 key Coke Zero markets.
TastetheMadness.com generated more than 220,000 page views in the eight weeks it was live and visitors spent an average of three minutes on the website per session.
More than 40,000 votes were cast for fan-submitted videos and photos featured on TastetheMadness.com.