Learning from Coca-Cola’s proximity marketing campaign

Coca-Cola has employed a beacon based proximity marketing campaign for one its water products. GLACEAU smart water is using push based advertising to target Londoners with localised content. How does this work, and what lessons can ordinary retailers learn from this campaign to drive engagement and boost sales?

The way this works is the following: Londoner’s walk through a particular part of the city, in this case Hoxton or Chelsea. Once people walk within a certain radius of the beacon, they receive a push notification on their smartphone. This notification presents links to content, specifically blogs written by influential London writers.
So you click on the content, get some value from it and learn a little more about London life and culture. All of this is branded with GLACEAU smart water, with the branding clearly evident on the blogs.

The intent

The intent is for GLACEAU smartwater to become associated with young, trendy London life. By adding value to Londoners with relevant content, their target market identifies the product as something positive, and representative of the lifestyle they want to live.


It is great way to craft branding and target specific demographics. Whilst the beacon doesn’t discriminate between demographic, the content does, and once the target market clicks on the content, GLACEAU’s potential consumers are engaged with, and exposed to, the brand. The nature of beacon means that the user is targeted at the right place as well; this campaign is not used across the whole of London, but at specific locations like Chelsea and Hoxton that are at the forefront of vibrant, London culture.


As with all beacon technology, the notification require an app to be received. In this case, Londoners must have Mapway’s Bus London Android App. How many people within the target market have this map installed? Well, millions actually. The exact number isn’t known, but there are 15 million downloads for the Tube app by the same developer.
This is an example of where push notifications can actually work, because the barrier of having to have an app installed is overcome by massive usage. The downside to this is that smaller retailers will have great difficulty in accessing apps with this kind of ubiquity.

Alternatives for smaller retailers

Partnering with an app like Bus London is an impossibility for most businesses. A viable alternative is hyperlocal marketing, or instore proximity marketing. As GLACEAU create an engaging experience with push notification blogs, retail stores are using tap technology to create consumer journeys instore with NFC tags. Instead of a push notification, tap your device on an NFC tag attached to a particular product and just like the GLACEAU campaign, you get content. It could be blogs, videos, promotions and more.

To learn more about how Tapnfeel is changing the consumer shopping experience by bridging the physical with the digital, click here.


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