How Ronaldo lost Coke 4 billion in a day

I’ve talked a lot about how strong Hook Points can help your brand grow and connect with the largest possible audience. But I haven’t touched on just how impactful a negative Hook Point can be on your brand.

Recently, at a Euro 2020 news conference, superstar Cristiano Ronaldo removed two Coke bottles from the table out of the camera frame, despite the fact that Coca-Cola is a sponsor for Euro 2020. Ronaldo then held up a bottle of water and said, “water!”, showing the entire world that he likes to drink water instead of Coke.

Because of Ronaldo’s beverage choice, Coke’s share price immediately dropped 1.6%, losing the company $4 billion dollars.

Obviously, having the leading scorer in European Championship history rebuffing your brand at a press conference for one of the biggest soccer tournaments can’t be good. But I doubt most people realized just how disastrous it could be. This is like if Coke paid $4 billion dollars for Ronaldo to do an ad talking about how much he hated Coke. It’s basically flushing money down the toilet.

This all goes to show just how powerful Hook Points are in terms of shaping consumer choices. Where a positive Hook Point can go viral, increasing brand visibility and revenue, a negative one, like Ronaldo’s water stunt, can move the needle the same way in the opposite direction. As entrepreneurs, we should be thinking not just about crafting positive Hook Points, but how to avoid negative Hook Points wreaking havoc on our brand.

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