Coca-Cola knows how to keep a good thing going.
Its “Share a Coke” promotion gave its sales a major bump after the brand debuted its packaging “personalization” initiative in Australia in 2011, featuring lots of first names for which consumers could search in the refrigerator case, trying to find themselves, family members or friends dedicated on the containers.
It was a massive hit. The mass-customization campaign won a Cannes Lions award. Soon it spread to the UK and was boosting US sales for the first time in a decade.
While the idea of printing first names like “Jessica” and terms of endearment such as “Family” on Coke bottles and cans may have lost some of its initial punch, the company keeps coming up with new ways to extend the Share a Coke magic.
In the latest twist, Coca-Cola is adding surnames to the mix and extending Share a Coke to more brands—adding Coca-Cola Life and Cherry Coke to Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero—in the US. The latter move is compatible with Coke’s pivot to a “one brand” strategy that unifies and markets its various Coke varieties under one umbrella. It’s also getting even more personal to connect with customers.
“By extending ‘Share a Coke’ across five Coca-Cola products, we’re giving people more great tasting choices and ways to share and enjoy simple moments together this summer,” stated Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president of brand and strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America.
This year’s summer campaign in North America will focus on personalized packaging—more than 1,000 names are available, including 200+ surnames—but also on the role of Coca-Cola as a thirst-quencher that brings people together.
“’Share an ICE-COLD Coke’ will give people more ways to create simple moments together while enjoying a Coca-Cola when it’s needed most, during summer’s hottest moments,” according to Evan Holod, Coca-Cola brand director, Coca-Cola North America.
“There is nothing more personal, more special, than seeing your name,” he added. “And creating a meaningful moment of connection is something Coca-Cola does better than anything. Including last names can create a different, even deeper sense of connection – one of cultural and family pride.”
Finally, “’Share a Coke’ has revealed what we always knew about Coke but sometimes take for granted – that the liquid itself can inspire moments of togetherness,” Holod said. “With this summer’s message of sharing an ice-cold Coke, the Coke itself becomes the vehicle to both refreshment and special moments.”
— The Coca-Cola Co. (@CocaColaCo) April 18, 2017
Starting in May, fans can once again visit ShareaCoke.com to buy personalized 8-oz. glass bottles and six-packs of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero. From proms to graduations, family reunions to weddings, the ways to share an ice-cold Coca-Cola with family, friends and party guests this summer are limitless. Online shoppers can also find Coca-Cola apparel and gift items on the site.
Coke also is launching a new experiential tour in the US this summer, customizing Coca-Cola or Coke Zero mini cans at tour stops in 17 states. And it’s bringing back limited-edition patriotic packaging which celebrates US military members and commemorates Coca-Cola’s partnership with the United Service Organizations.
A U.S. national marketing plan will support “Share an ICE-COLD Coke”, including TV, cinema, radio, outdoor and social/digital advertising breaking in May.
“Fans will see both the hottest and coldest work we’ve ever done,” Holod said. “It’s dripping with intensity and heat… and yet it delivers completely the idea of ice-cold refreshment. If it doesn’t make you thirsty, nothing will.”
Over in the UK, meanwhile, Coca-Cola is taking Share a Coke on holiday this summer by enabling place names of popular vacation spots on destination bottles.
Launching on May 10, bottles of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke will feature names of 75 famous cities and exotic beaches on their labels including dream destinations like Bali, Hawaii and Miami.