Ivan Pollard: In the digital age, there's no reason to miss a party again
A view from Ivan Pollard

Ivan Pollard: In the digital age, there's no reason to miss a party again

This has been an interesting few weeks.

During the royal wedding, I found myself in Atlanta watching the event unfold on my laptop and then, as Coca-Cola turned 125 years old, I was in London once again huddled over my Apple. Two events of huge significance that happen once every 25 years and I got them the wrong way round.

On reflection, however, I think it was more educational not being there in person. Instead, I watched technology create access to both events in a way that could never have happened 25 years ago.

We use the word iconic far too much in the world of marketing communications. According to a snippet from Wikipedia, it is nominated as one of the most overused words in journalism too, "finding over 18,000 iconic references in news stories alone, with another 30,000 for icon, including use of it for SpongeBob SquarePants".

In our world, it should really only be used for a symbol, logo, picture, person or brand that is readily recognised and generally represents an object or concept with great cultural significance to a wide cultural group. I would humbly suggest that the British Royal Family and the wonderful fizzy beverage in the contour bottle match up to this requirement. Both are iconic, have history and are significant to many people.

So it was fun to watch these two icons unfold their celebrations. Being able to follow William and Kate on my laptop and my phone at 4am Atlanta time was a treat. It made me proud to be English. Some estimates say half of the planet watched the show. Billions online, on mobile or on TV. In the US, people had parties to lap up the "pomp and circumstance". They are our Hollywood and our history all in one and, wherever you stand on the politics, you cannot help but concede it makes for a splendid case study of wonderful content, brilliantly orchestrated and globally distributed.

Meanwhile, in London a week later, I was sharing a Coke with a friend and watching the company's birthday celebrations online. Here was another iconic celebration of a vaunted history but done in a way that was able to make the retrospective contemporary and relevant by the use of technology. Not only was the celebration streamed online to millions of fans, but also the content itself was driven by wonderful technology. Check out this film by typing "Spectacular Coca-Cola 3D 125th Anniversary Illumination" into YouTube to see what I mean. Technology is making the distribution of, and access to, great content beautifully universal. But nothing attracts an audience like a wonderful story.

I know it is a little indulgent to write about the company I work for but I promise not to write about its celebrations for at least another 25 years.

Ivan Pollard is the vice-president, global connections, at The Coca-Cola Company