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How Coca-Cola Used Native Advertising to Raise Awareness of Its New Bottle Cap in Scandinavia

Goals and objectives

As part of their World Without Waste strategy, Coca-Cola launched a new bottle design, where the caps stay attached to the bottle. 

The innovation uses less plastic in manufacturing, helps reduce plastic waste in nature, and makes sure all parts of their packaging can be recycled. 

Coca-Cola's goal is to recover all packaging sold by 2030. The innovation complements the EU directive regarding disposable plastic bottles, which takes effect in 2024. 

Coca-Cola is the very first company to launch the attached cap. The goal was to create awareness around the new cap and reach as many people as possible. 

Coca-Cola decided to use native advertising in Scandinavia's biggest digital newspapers (VG in Norway and Aftonbladet in Sweden) to reach a majority of the population for maximal impact. 

The campaign was distributed in a premium format built on SOV. 

To increase the demographic impact even more, the campaign was distributed on VGs Snapchat as well as Aftonbladet’s Instagram. It was important from the start to create the content around real people and their reactions. 

By using text, video and animation we created a visually lively campaign with a strong impact, within an editorial environment. 

Norway started the campaign, first by introducing the bottle cap by capturing people's first reactions to it on video, followed by an in-depth article on how to use the new cap and why it was launched. 

Sweden adapted the concept to the Swedish market and focused on sustainability.


The campaign's KPIs aimed to build awareness and increase knowledge about Coca-Cola’s new bottle caps and why they chose to implement it so soon in Scandinavia. 

It was important for Coca-Cola to reach as many people as possible with this campaign, to stay ahead of any possible discontent. Therefore it was important to set KPIs that could control the exposure.

By using native advertising and social media (in an editorial context) we were able to control:

  • How many times news readers have been exposed to the content 
  • How many clicks/readers the articles got
  • How many views and impressions the social media content got
  • How each SOV day performed within the campaign period

These indicators gave Coca-Cola and Schibsted an opportunity to conclude if the campaign had reached the desired audience, which was the majority of the population.

Target audience

Coca-Cola wanted to reach the majority of the population in Norway and Sweden with the campaign. 

People of all ages and demographics were included in the outtakes of the campaign, and therefore VG and Aftonbladet – with the addition of Snapchat and Instagram – was the right way to go. 

Compared to traditional media outlets like TV, which has had a decline in viewership, VG and Aftonbladet are by far the strongest channels in their respective countries. 

Aftonbladet reaches four million Swedes across the country each day and VG in Norway reaches about two million people daily – and were therefore obvious choices for this campaign. This corresponds to approximately half of the population in both countries. 

To specifically target a younger audience, and the next generation of Coca-Cola consumers, we used VG and Aftonbladet’s accounts on social media platforms (Snapchat and Instagram) to push the campaign further. On the social media platforms, we also had the opportunity to further tweak the impact toward users who are environmentally engaged. This is a large subject of interest in both Scandinavian countries.

Strategic approach

Our approach was to hit the sweet spot in between what Coca-Cola wanted to communicate and what our readers wanted to read about. We therefore worked around these aspects: relatable people and relevant information. 

We chose to build the content around real people, feelings and humour. 

The news value of the launch in both countries together with the recycling and sustainability focus acted as the foundational values throughout. A combination that, from experience, works well on both VG and Aftonbladet. 

To also work with video, text and animation combined gave the campaign movement and a synergy where every reader could find something they liked. 

By distributing the campaign on both news sites in a native premium format that is built on SOV, we knew we would reach a large audience in Norway and in Sweden. 

By adding Snapchat and Instagram to the campaign we could pinpoint the younger generation and increase reach and knowledge further – all in line with the KPIs. 

The distribution approach allowed us to help strengthen Coca-Cola’s position in the market, and inform a large part of the population in Norway and Sweden about their sustainability work – all through the new cap. And thanks to the strength of Schibsted’s international channels we could guarantee high reach and give Coca-Cola a unique possibility for exposure.

Creative idea

Norway took the lead with Coca-Cola’s campaign and produced two articles with different focus. 

The first one to go live focused on the launch of the new cap. This was because Coca-Cola had a feeling this new cap would cause frustration for a lot of people. And we assumed that it would be easier to build knowledge as to why this was being done, if we just focused on what was new, before the «why». 

In the first article, we gave everyday people the opportunity to test the new bottle caps, and let them give their honest feedback and explain why they thought this was about to be put into effect. By doing so we could use the second article to go more in-depth into why the cap was launched and how to use it. 

In Norway, we complemented the regular native articles with a Snapchat campaign on VG's own account to increase coverage in the younger part of the population. With a simplified message, we also allowed these viewers to swipe-up to read the original articles. 

Sweden followed using the Norwegian campaign as a model. Even though Norway and Sweden are neighbouring countries, there had to be some adjustments for it to be as successful in Sweden. 

We used the same foundation with videos, text and animations, but further decided to focus more on sustainability and the environmental aspects of Coca-Cola launching the new cap. This goes in line with what the Swedish audience is used to seeing on Aftonbladet, and is also a subject Swedes are very interested in. 

To widen the reach even more and target a younger audience, we used Instagram as an additional platform in Sweden. 

Both Norway and Sweden are two of the global top performers when it comes to recycling plastic. And by building the case around both sustainability and humour in the videos used, we succeeded in widening the campaign and reaching audiences that like innovation, sustainability and Coca-Cola as a brand.

Channels used

In Norway VG was the platform of choice for the native articles. By being the definite largest news site in Norway, measured in readers, it was the best choice to meet Coca-Cola’s KPI’s with the campaign. 

Further we also expanded to VG’s Snapchat channel to be able to reach the younger audience and the new generation of Coca-Cola customers. As we knew that the younger generation prefers consuming news through social media or influencers. VG’s Snapchat channel has 250 000 daily users and 600 000 followers, where 71 percent are between 13 and 24 years old. 

In Sweden, we distributed the campaign on Aftonbladet in our Native Premium format. Native Premium is a fully customizable native format, which is also distributed through SOV. The newspaper reaches around 4 million readers every day, and is the most read news outlet in the country. 

To expand the campaign and target a younger audience, we also used Aftonbladet’s Instagram. The platform has a reach of 450 000 users a week, and every story reaches between 35 000 and 40 000 users where 20,4 percent are between the ages of 18 and 24, and 22,7 percent are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Content distribution and promotion efforts

The campaign was set to be live eight days in total on the front page of VG and six days in total on VGs Snapchat. This was over a period of five weeks in Norway. In Sweden the campaign was narrowed down to be distributed with a high rotation within one week.

The reason behind this distribution strategy was again to reach as many people as possible within the time frames right before the launch of the new bottle cap in physical stores. VG and Aftonbladet have huge coverage within the age group 35-65 +. While the coverage on VGs Snapchat and Aftonbladets Instagram ensured we reached an audience from 15-34 years as well.

Campaign results, ROI, and efficiency

As expected, the campaign got a lot of attention in both countries. In total the campaign was exposed on VG and Aftonbladet over 17 million times in total. 646 736 of these decided to engage more with the content and clicked to read the articles. This resulted in giving Coca-Cola an average cost per click (CPC) down to 3,- (NOK).

The Norwegian Snapchat campaign also had an enormous reach with 1.5 million impressions. The Swedish Instagram-posts were viewed over half a million times. In Norway the articles also delivered a solid view time – 47 seconds on average (benchmark on VG is 50 sec). Even though this wasn’t a main KPI it shows that the readers engaged with the content. 

In Sweden, the article served an average view time of 33 seconds (benchmark 45 sec). Schibsted in Sweden carried out a brand metrics report to see if the campaign had managed to deliver the message. 

Did the audience know about the new bottle cap after being live on Aftonbladet and Aftonbladet’s Instagram? 

They did! A boost of 36% disclosed that the readers knew that Coca-Cola was launching a new and more sustainable bottle cap.

Campaign Learnings

VG, Aftonbladet and Coca-Cola are three very strong brands in Norway and Sweden. The audience has shown a massive interest in Coca-Cola’s content on all platforms used in this campaign, and by distributing the campaign on news sites and social media platforms that are a natural part of the Scandinavian audience’s daily routine, we have managed to deliver a great reach in both countries. Also, the content itself has been a success. 

There is a big interest in Schibsted-produced video content, especially distributed with a humoristic touch and together with text and animation. 

By using humour and seriousness in the campaign and pushing both innovation and sustainability, we managed to appeal to a broad audience. Just like Coca-Cola expected from the campaign.