You must have heard about the "Share a Coke" campaign, a viral marketing campaign that was launched by the Coca-Cola company in 2011. The campaign was designed to increase sales and promote the brand by personalizing Coke bottles and cans with popular names and phrases.
So what was so iconic about the campaign and how did it manage to go viral across the entire globe? During the campaign, Coca-Cola replaced its iconic logo on bottles and cans with over 1,000 popular first names, allowing customers to share a Coke with their friends and loved ones. In addition to first names, the campaign also included nicknames, terms of endearment, and popular phrases like "BFF," "soulmate," and "better half."
The campaign was a huge success and generated a lot of buzz on social media. People were excited to find their name or the name of a loved one on a Coke bottle, and many took to social media to share photos and stories about their personalized bottles. The campaign has since been repeated in different countries with new names and phrases.
Some of the staggering numbers of discussions and statistics around the campaign's planning included: 150 marketing approval submissions, 25 risk assessment meetings, 4,000 hours of stakeholder interviews, 225 trademark searches, 40 hours spent choosing the appropriate red ink colour, 2,302 original works of art, 303,669 point-of-sale items, 5,287 words that would be blocked from the labels, and 225 trademark searches.
Successful Marketing Metrics
The "Share a Coke" campaign tracked several marketing metrics to measure its success. Some of the key metrics tracked in the campaign include:
1. Sales: Coca-Cola tracked the sales of personalized Coke bottles and cans to measure the impact of the campaign on revenue and profitability.
2. Social media engagement: The campaign encouraged people to share their personalized Coke bottles on social media using the hashtag #ShareACoke. Coca-Cola tracked the number of mentions, shares, and likes on social media to gauge the campaign's social media reach and engagement.
3. Brand sentiment: The campaign aimed to increase brand sentiment by creating an emotional connection between customers and the brand. Coca-Cola tracked customer feedback and sentiment through social media monitoring and customer surveys.
4. Brand awareness: The personalized Coke bottles and cans with different names and phrases were intended to create buzz and generate awareness for the brand. Coca-Cola tracked the number of impressions and media coverage to measure the campaign's impact on brand awareness.
5. Customer loyalty: By creating a personalized experience for customers, the campaign aimed to increase customer loyalty. Coca-Cola tracked customer loyalty through repeat purchases, brand advocacy, and customer lifetime value.
According to Coca-Cola's 2014 annual report, the "Share a Coke" campaign helped increase sales volume and market share for the company in many regions around the world. The report also stated that the campaign received more than a billion impressions on social media and generated a lot of positive buzz and engagement from customers.
The ad was created by Ogilvy and Coca-Cola with two distinct goals in mind. Targeting the Australian customers first, the first and main goal was to boost sales in Australia's summer season. The second goal was to speak with young consumers directly. Identifying these objectives at the start gave the teams laser focus and allowed them to establish the metrics of success
Overall, the "Share a Coke" campaign was considered one of Coca-Cola's most successful marketing campaigns in recent years, and it helped the company strengthen its brand and increase customer engagement. The campaign generated a lot of positive buzz and engagement from customers and helped Coca-Cola strengthen its brand and increase sales volume and market share in many regions around the world.
Why was the campaign so successful?
Here are some of the reasons why the campaign was considered so successful:
1. Personalization: The personalized Coke bottles and cans created an emotional connection with customers and made the brand more relatable and relevant to their lives.
2. Social media engagement: The campaign encouraged people to share their personalized Coke bottles on social media using the hashtag #ShareACoke, which helped create a viral buzz and generated a lot of social media engagement.
3. Increased sales: The campaign helped increase sales volume and market share for Coca-Cola in many regions around the world.
4. Brand sentiment: The campaign helped improve brand sentiment and create a more positive perception of the brand among customers.
5. Repeat purchases: The personalized Coke bottles and cans helped create a sense of loyalty and incentivized customers to buy more Coca-Cola products.
Without global cooperation, the "Share a Coke" campaign would not have been possible. Of course, the product, design, legal, operations, and marketing teams at Coca-Cola worked together internally. To spread the word, the beverage firm also worked with outside organizations and partners, even teaming up with millennial stars like Ludacris, Selena Gomez, and Lupita Nyong'o.
Overall, the "Share a Coke" campaign was a highly successful marketing campaign that demonstrated the power of personalization and social media engagement in driving brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Major learnings from the campaign
1- Be certain who is in charge of each task
The project leader must make it clear who is responsible for what tasks and hold them and their teams accountable.
Internal roles were delineated from the beginning. Legal got to work right away, looking into copyright regulations and assessing risk. New assets were developed by design right away.
Operations wasted little time in planning the logistics necessary to print hundreds of new labels. Marketing got right to work, developing messaging and content for every language and location. Roles and responsibilities might not be as clearly defined in smaller businesses.
2-Determine who is skilled in what.
Despite the enormous quantity of expertise within the company, Coca-Cola recruited outside consultants to help with the concept's refinement and realization.
The business collaborated on a range of marketing elements with a few additional agencies in addition to Ogilvy. For instance, on the 4oD TV on-demand television platform, MediaCom assisted Coke in creating the first personalized TV advertisements ever.
The advertisements were created by MediaCom using viewer information—their sign-in identity. The execution of the commercials required a staggering level of cooperation, from data collection through message. The statistics are conclusive: a staggering 71% of viewers have positive memories of the advertisement.
The Big Impact
The "Share a Coke" campaign had an absolutely incredible impact. When Share a Coke first came out in Australia, consumption among teens increased by 7% and two out of every five citizens of the nation purchased a pack. Kiosks printed 378,000 Coke cans, and overall sales rose by 3%. Social media saw the sharing of 76,000 virtual Coke cans, an 870% spike in Facebook traffic, and 170,000 tweets from 160,000 fans.
More than 1,000 names have been printed on cans and bottles since the global rollout started in 2012, and more than 150,000,000 customized bottles have been sold. Even the hashtag #ShareACoke topped the list of global trending topics.
More than 1 billion impressions have come as a result. After a decade of decline, the campaign increased U.S. sales by 2.5% and garnered seven honours at the Cannes Lions Festival. It is still being expanded in novel and creative ways that continue to generate income today.
What's the Future?
What started as a 151-word creative brief transformed into a multi-channel, global marketing campaign that continues to perform nearly seven years later. The marketing team at Coke keeps repeating these victories with a strong emphasis on execution, proving that the campaign's success was no accident.
The future will be defined by massive, integrated campaigns that span borders, media, and channels. Executing this new form of the marketing campaign at scale gets more challenging as change occurs more quickly and the on-demand economy becomes more complex. These campaigns now require a top-performing team; being a top performer alone is no longer sufficient. To accomplish this level of seamless cooperation and produce outcomes, a rock-solid project management methodology and toolset are necessary.