Coca-Cola recently announced that its “Share a Coke” campaign will return this summer with some exciting new additions. The campaign will now be called “Share An Ice Cold Coke” and will extend across five products, including Coca-Cola Life. The soft drink giant will also be taking personalization one step further by introducing last names on bottles in the U.S. Consumers can expect to see surnames in stores this May.
“Share a Coke” originally debuted in Australia in 2011 as a way for the brand to connect with young adults. Let’s take a look at how global marketing intelligence was at the core of this campaign.
Know Your Audience
Coke needed a way to connect with a younger audience. “Our research showed that while teens and young adults loved that Coca-Cola was big and iconic, many felt we were not talking to them at eye level.” said Lucie Austin, director of marketing for Coca-Cola South Pacific. By putting first names on the bottles, Coke believed they could reach Australian teens and millennials in a direct and meaningful way.
Coke started with the most popular 150 names in Australia, though it represented less than half of the population. While this initial research enabled them to effectively launch the campaign, Coke knew continued success would require evolution. As part of the second release of names, Coke invited consumers to drive the selection by allowing them to vote. From the beginning, Coke designed the campaign to be about the people and adapted it overtime according to their feedback.
Meet Them Where They Are
Coke had identified its target market and found a way to connect with them using personalization, but for any campaign to be a success, it needs to be where the audience is. For Coke’s target audience, this meant social media. Coke incorporated a digital experience that allowed people to send a “virtual Coke” via Facebook. By the summer of 2015, the #ShareaCoke hashtag garnered more than 500,000 photos and digital Coke bottles had been shared more than 6 million times. Coke also added 25 million fans on Facebook. By leveraging insight about where their target segments engaged, Coke was able to communicate with them via their mode of choice.
By the end of the summer of 2011, Coke had sold more than 250 million sodas as a result of the campaign. “Share a Coke” has since become an international success, launching in more than 70 countries. By leveraging the right research and market intelligence, Coke was able to execute one of the brand’s most memorable campaigns to date.