Global chief marketing officer
The Coca-Cola Company
Returning member from 2020
Less than two months after Manuel Arroyo took the mantle of global chief marketing officer of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) in 2020, the world spiralled into the worst crisis of recent history. Responsible for integrated global marketing, heading teams like creative, category, marketing operations, design, and knowledge and insight, Arroyo had a big challenge laid out for him. The beverage giant, home to big-ticket brands like Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Georgia and Costa, revived its CMO role in 2019 with Arroyo’s appointment.
Arroyo’s extensive experience in operations, marketing and brand management, as well as his agility in crisis management came in handy when the brand, like many others, took the practical decision to put the brakes on ad spend and direct funds towards Covid relief efforts. Marketing teams from Singapore to South Africa, Austria to Australia, and Brazil to Belgium embraced its ‘We’re All in This Together’ campaign and shared messages of upliftment and solidarity on high-profile assets like billboards, trucks, and social media to express gratitude towards frontline health workers. The Coca-Cola Foundation pledged close to $100 million in Covid-relief measures, an endorsement of the brand’s ‘Real Magic’ philosophy.
On the brand side, Coca-Cola called for an agency review and landed on WPP to cover its portfolio worth US$4 billion under a bespoke agency unit called OpenX. Arroyo said that this review was called to simplify TCCC’s marketing capability within various geographical networks. The OpenX team is tasked to manage creative, media, data and marketing technology across Coca-Cola’s entire portfolio of brands and its global ventures, including Costa and Innocent. This led to a high-profile global rebrand for Sprite, the first work to debut under OpenX which comprised over 1,000 assets across 200 markets globally. On top of that, the brand expanded its Coke Studio music platform to support music artists in local markets.