Coca-Cola Puts Fans on the Can in Australia


In a Facebook promotion that launched Oct. 1st, Coca-Cola is inviting Australians to ‘Share a Coke with a Mate’ in a $5 million campaign as summer heats up down under.

Cans and bottles with some of Australia’s most popular names have been popping up over the past two weeks, cans branded Jess, Sam, Kevin, Edward, Matt and Kate.

Coke is hoping that 268 million sodas will sell during the next three months as the company swaps its branding for one of 150 of Australia’s most popular names, the first time Coke has changed its packaging in 125 years. If your name isn’t one of the top 150, stop at a Coke kiosk in one of 18 Westfield-owned shopping centers for free personalization.[more]

“We really don’t know where this is going to go to. It’s our biggest ever, and I think our most exciting. It is all about connecting people, mainly in the real world, but also digitally as well,” said Coca-Cola South Pacific marketing director Lucie Austin to The Australian.

Australia’s most famous outdoor advertising sign in Sydney’s Kings Cross will display consumer’s names in text messages for the next three days and see it displayed for 29 seconds as they receive an image of their name on the sign on their mobile phone.

In Aussie idiom, Coke cans sport messages like “Share a coke with your mate” or “bro, sis, champ, boss.” Ethnic names like Fadi, Aarav and Giulia will join Matt, Kelly and Nicole.

“Names were chosen to represent a cross section of the Australian population,” a spokesperson commented. “We used publicly available data to review the most popular names in Australia and ethnic representation in Australia to ensure the diversity of our multi-cultural nation was represented appropriately.” 

Coca-Cola Australia is betting on a viral hit for ‘Share a Coke’ via social media. Facebook fans can create their own Coke commercials with pictures from their Facebook albums, share a virtual Coke, and be eligible to win $50,000 to share with their friends. TV screens will be blanketed with 30-second ads promoting the campaign and inviting people to create and share their own Coke commercials on YouTube and Facebook.

“We are using the power of the first name in a playful and social way to remind people of those in their lives they may have lost touch with or have yet to connect with,” said Austin. 

Consumers are able to download one of 150 ‘name songs’, produced in partnership with Southern Cross Austereo via the Coca-Cola Australia Facebook page. And come December, the campaign will flip over to “share a Coke with Santa,” with cans rolling out featuring “Rudolph” and other reindeer names.

It’s all part of the brand’s Open Happiness campaign, as Coke looks to deliver happiness and a unique brand experience … one personalized can at a time.

Below: Coca-Cola Australia’s Share a Coke Facebook app —