by Delysia Eminian

Did you try and find a Coca-Cola bottle with your name on it this summer? Well you’re not the only one; this summer Coca-Cola launched a campaign that originally started in Australia in 2011. Coca-Cola saw how successful it was in Australia (and in about 70 other countries) and the company decided to test it out in the U.S at the beginning of this summer. The campaign was pretty simple; they just put the 250 most popular names in the U.S. on their bottles and sales skyrocketed. They also included a couple of other nouns, such as “family” and “friends”. #shareacoke has hundreds of thousands posts on many different social media sites.

Coca-Cola even had it setup through their website that you could create a virtual bottle with your name on it. According to The Wall Street Journal, over 6 million bottles have been created to share on social media. The AJC reports that the company’s success with this campaign is largely due to social media and people’s want to share the bottles on social media with the hash tag #shareacoke.

The company even created its own website for this campaign. However, currently it says that the campaign has come to an end and the bottles are only available while supplies last, and by now they are all pretty much gone. There was a gallery in which people’s photos that they have shared on social media are featured on their actual website. They also include hyper linked icons to their very own social media sites. AdWeek stated that a senior brand manager within the company said that there will be “serious consideration “on bringing the campaign back again in the United States next summer.”

Share a Coke with....

Share a Coke with….

Lucie Austen, one of the original brand executives in Australia, said this about the campaign and it perfectly explains why the campaign was so successful:

“We gave consumers an opportunity to express themselves through a bottle of Coke, and to share the experience with someone else. The fact that your name is on a Coke bottle, it can’t get more personal than that! The campaign capitalized on the global trend of self-expression and sharing, but in an emotional way. Coke is big enough to pull off an idea like this, which speaks to the iconic nature of the brand. Who would want their name on a brand unless it was as iconic as Coke? ‘Share a Coke’ found the sweet spot by making consumers famous through the most iconic brand in the world.”

A couple even used the campaign to their advantage by announcing the fact that they were going to be parents through a YouTube video, according to the Huffington Post. Throughout the video they were taking drinks out of different Coke bottles with different names on them, and they speak in the voice of the person’s name who is on the can. And at the end of the video they drank out of cans that say “mom” and “dad” and their voices go back to normal. It was a really creative way to announce their big news.

I would have to say that this campaign was a social media success. The campaign went from being in one single country, to pretty much being a world wide marketing campaign in the time span of 3 years. Thousands of people have used the #shareacoke hash tag on various social media sites, with the most popular being Instagram (thanks to Coca-cola’s ingenious idea to include a virtual coke bottle creator on their website), according to a blog on The Wall Street Journal’s website. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company’s sales went up 2.5%. I think that in order to make this campaign more successful that Coca-Cola should bring it back every summer; they should also continue to change the names every year a little bit.

References

Esteral, M. (2014, September 25). ‘Share a Coke’ credited with a pop in sales. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/share-a-coke-credited-with-a-pop-in-sales-1411661519

McQuilken, T. (2014, September 26). ‘Share a Coke’ campaign grows sales for first time in 10 years, WSJ reports. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/coca-colas-share-coke-campaign-grows-sales-first-time-10-years-160433

Sargent, M. (2014, September 29). Coca-Cola sales grow thanks to #shareacoke campaign. Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved from http://www.ajc.com/news/news/national/coca-cola-sales-grow-thanks-shareacoke-campaign/nhXkn/

Tadena, N. (2014, July 15). Coke’s personalized marketing campaign gains online buzz (blog). Retrieved from http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/07/15/cokes-personalized-marketing-campaign-gains-online-buzz/

Velez, M. (2014, August 5). Couple uses the #ShareaCoke campaign to make a classic pregnancy announcement. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/05/couple-coke-pregnancy-announcement_n_5651406.html