Coca-Cola has breathed new life into its successful ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, and is again serving up a memorable, authentic and personal brand experience.

This second phase of the campaign has been described by Coca-Cola as “more personal than ever”, and with the original list of 150 names rocketing to more than 1,000, this is certainly true as we see even more shoppers joining in the hunt for their name.  The global invitation to become part of Coca-Cola’s celebration has had mass appeal in the retail environment and is a fantastic example of how a brand experience can influence a shopper to act. 

A colleague of mine recently witnessed a group of shoppers debating over which bottles to purchase – posing the question: to share a Coke with a friend, ‘Handsome’, ‘Sis,’ ‘Dude’ or themselves? And I must confess that I too, have on more than one occasion gone out of my way to do a bit of searching for my name at the back of the shelf.

Few brands revisit existing campaigns and opinion of doing so is often divided between unimaginative and inspired.

My own experience of Coca-Cola is the latter, and this is because they deliver a solid brand experience based on:

Phase 1: Consistency

Coca-Cola is a ubiquitous brand with an extensive portfolio of positive nostalgic qualities.  From the iconic collectable bottles to the portrayal of Father Christmas that has, for me, come to signal that the holidays are comin’ (that truck will be here before you know it!).  Introducing a great campaign allows the brand to share what it is all about, and by delivering a consistent message over time will achieve a recognisable and trusted message that becomes part of the brand identity.  It can be the foundation of a strong relationship with the consumer, and once it is widely understood, the fun can really start.

Phase 2: Innovation & technology

Anchored by consistency, Coca-Cola harnesses innovation to evolve the brand and provoke both continued happiness and surprise.  This has been tapped into in phase 2 of the integrated campaign, which has used innovative technology to guarantee a seamlessly personal brand experience that will excite consumers and inspire them to connect and share a Coke.

Whilst recently sitting down to catch up on 4oD, I saw that Coke had put my name in lights.  Instantly I was engaged by the relevancy.

Prior to a 30 second Coca-Cola ad, I was treated to a 10 second bespoke brand experience in the form of a personalised digital ad that saw my name displayed in the iconic script across the product.  The ads, which are exclusive to Channel 4 online, are an exciting extension of the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, and the first deal of its kind for the broadcaster. My experience was unique and memorable and I instantly felt compelled to Tweet and join in the online conversation.

The integrated campaign has also played out across out-of-home elements.  Interactive billboards that utilise SMS technology have invited passers-by to text their name and generate content for the ad; and print stations at festivals, shopping centres and summer events have also inspired mass participation.  In August, Coke launched an online platform where-by consumers can commission their own bottles.

The creative execution across channels shows an understanding that the way the modern consumer connects has changed. It acknowledges the prominence of the online realm and interactive elements to a generation that adore personalised content delivered instantaneously.

Coca-Cola’s latest offering will no doubt continue to gain momentum through the proven combination of technology and a strong, consistent brand sentiment.  I am excited to see what Coke do to surprise me next, and I wonder if this is a campaign that we will see revived again in the summer of 2015?

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Jemma Connor

Jnr. Account Manager