Speaking at Marketing's Brands Assembly conference last week, Sanjay Guha, president of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, confirmed that the programme would be rolling out in the UK and would be a significant element of its communications.
'It's an essential way of thinking for us and part of our DNA, where we don't just want to be a responsible producer, but help people make the right decisions,' he said. However, he would not confirm when it would launch.
It is likely that Coca-Cola's UK CSR programmes, which include 'Talent for Trash', a recycling scheme launched in partnership with 13 Football League clubs and their local
authorities, 'Coke Zero's Street Striker', a tie-in with Wayne Rooney, and numerous grass-roots sports initiatives, will be subsumed into the Live Positively scheme.
The strapline used in the US, where the company uses the programme to promote community-focused activity such as its 'Coca-Cola Scholars' scheme and 'Global Water Challenge', which helps to provide safe water in poor countries, is 'Just by drinking Coke, you're giving your community a helping hand.'
In the US, the scheme works closely with schoolchildren where the 'My Coke Rewards' programme gives points for purchases that can be exchanged for school equipment. Similar schemes already exist in the UK, such as Sainsbury's Equipment for Schools, although a similar initiative run by a carbonated-drink brand is likely to incur the wrath of health campaigners.
Guha emphasised that Coca-Cola wants the community work it carries out to become more concentrated on a local scale; in the UK it has already launched an initiative for staff members, called the 'Green Team', and earlier this year teamed up with environmental charity Thames 21 to help clean up the river near its offices in West London.
Guha added that Coca-Cola would be looking to achieve the greatest possible exposure in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics, to ensure lasting ROI from its top-tier sponsorship of the event.