Share a Coke – Case Study

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The hugely successful ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was one of my favourites from last year. The changing media environment has seen the world moving into new arenas to consume, connect and engage with brands. Coke identified that it needed to adapt to this changing environment in a highly competitive market, with a campaign that would integrate both online and offline interaction with the brand and product.

In the spring of 2013 Coke launched the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign that would make consumers sit up and notice Coke in way that had mass appeal, high impact and would excite the nation. It was a campaign that would increase both sales and awareness, it made the public not just try the product but also love the brand again.

Coke benefits from having a highly recognisable brand image, the font and colours are instantly recognisable. This made it easier for them to de-brand their product to personalise the packaging with 150 of Britain’s most popular first names. This seemingly simple mechanic allowed the global brand to makes local connections with consumers.

Coke were modest enough to recognise that just having a highly recognisable logo doesn’t equate to a great band, that the brand experience is crucial and that the creation of a great experience speaks volumes over explicit imaging.  What was created was a subtle brand message that showed the fun side of the Coke, that it didn’t take itself too seriously.

Summer is a sociable time and the core of Coke’s idea was to get the nation together to share a good time over a Coca-Cola. Finding popular names on the cans and bottles of Coke sparked excitement, reminding people of their friends and family, but also spurring the consumer on to find one with their own name.

I know it certainly did with me; I was desperate to find one with Lizzy (with a Y) on it.

Finding your name or the name of someone you love was like winning a prize, and the narcissistic nature social media encourages in people made us want to show everyone our trophy. As the message on the bottle started to pop up around us Coke then jumped in with a strong TV ad presence. They also installed vending machines that could print any name on the pack.

According to IRI Worldwide date, sales of Coca-Cola increased 4.93% year on year and sales of all colas in the UK grew by 2.75%. And the YouGov Brand Index measured an improvement of Coke’s brand perception from 9.6 from the start of the campaign to 12.4 by the end of the summer.

2014 has started with an increasing amount of pressure on the food and drink industry with public health debate over growing obesity in the UK and our apparent addiction to sugar. It will be interesting to watch how public perception towards brands like Coke change and how Coca-Cola will react with their marketing communications.

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