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In an effort that can be emulated in the United States by other brands, soft drinks giant Coca-Cola Co. is running a new mobile marketing campaign in Germany that incorporates its signature Coca-Cola Christmas song.

Coca-Cola is offering its Coca-Cola Christmas song as a free ringback tone to subscribers of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Vodafone in Germany. Mobile marketing firm conVisual AG handles this Christmas holiday mobile campaign.

"It’s the first-ever time that a brand like Coca-Cola was involved in a ringback tone rollout such as this and we hope there will be a similar international campaign in the next few years,” said Claus Darnstaedt, marketing director of conVisual, Oberhausen, Germany.

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The ringback tone campaign dovetails with Coca-Cola’s larger Christmas advertising effort in Germany, including television spots that show the Coca-Cola truck driving through a snowy landscape.

Coca-Cola is one of the largest advertisers in Germany.

Holen, holen, holen!

The Coca-Cola Christmas song, "Holidays are coming,” can be replaced as the caller’s existing ringback tone through the end of December.


Consumers can access the ringback tone through several means.

For example, it can be activated from a special section on the Coca-Cola mobile portal, especially for subscribers of other networks.

Santa's German short code

T-Mobile and Vodafone subscribers can also send text the keyword COKE to the German common short code 44144. The carrier will then activate the ringback tone for that opted-in subscriber.

"The challenge is to really bring this Christmas idea into new, innovative marketing and to bring the Christmas spirit on the mobile phone,” Mr. Darnstaedt said.

ConVisual offers SMS text, MMS, voice and video offerings and mobile content and gateway services. The eight-year-old company also offers interactive television services for networks and media firms worldwide, including MTV, ESPN International and NBC Universal.

A key conVisual specialty is leveraging relationships with carriers, TV stations, media firms, brands and portals.

It’s always the real ring
Coca-Cola is one of the early adopters of mobile marketing, not just in Europe but also in the U.S.

Competing with Pepsi and generic brands in various markets, Coca-Cola is expanding its use of mobile and the Internet to maintain a dialogue with customers in mediums that they prefer.

"It was important for Coca-Cola that they marketed a new way of a digital experience for the brand,” Mr. Darnstaedt said.

"We think that the ringback tone was perfect because it plays on every type of phone model and you don’t need a dedicated model or dedicated manufacturer to have the ringback tone working. You simply have to text in a message and that’s that.

"It brings the Christmas spirit of the Coca-Cola campaign to every caller that calls your phone. This is the power of the campaign. You don’t have to care about technology or configure something. It can generate a high awareness of the brand.”

This effort marks the first time that the campaign song of a major brand is being woven into the marketing of the two leading carriers in Germany.

Coca-Cola and conVisual expect that the campaign will have a viral effect on beverage giant's target consumer base.

"The viral effect is important too, because everybody will get the brand message,” Mr. Darnstaedt said.

"Typically, the mobile phone user in Germany gets at least two calls a day,” he said, "and so this is a powerful tool because it can generate many touch points for the brand.”