Marketing Deconstructed: Share A Coke With Friends

The second in my Marketing Deconstructed Series this one takes a look at Coke’s latest expression of their famous “happiness” brand essence:

Coke “share a Coke” campaign

To me this campaign is genius a feat of both great creative and great logistical skill:

What are they trying to do?

Coke have an enviable position as one of the worlds most valuable and well recognised brands with deep rooted recognition and associations including “Santa” – seriously, you ask people to say a word associated with Coke and many will say “Santa”! So the pressures off right? Marketing? Pah, just show up, phone it in, easy! NO WAY! The problem with being one of the worlds most iconic and valuable brands and market leader is shareholders expect you to not only stay there, they expect you to grow, no mean feat for a brand as big as Coke, sure they can diversify with new brands and products and expand into some markets (though they are pretty much everywhere now) but their success is still built on that big red cash cow brand “Coke” right in the middle, they gotta keep that one selling.

So this is about keeping the Coke brand fresh and fun, Coke want to be associated with happiness so as much as anything this is about making their consumers pick up a drink and smile. If that sounds vague it isn’t, Coke will have all sorts of sophisticated brand metrics tracking and survey data to measure their impact.

Have they Succeeded?

I think so, the reaction I’ve seen from friends and acquaintances across the web and in the real world show me a lot of consumers engaging heavily with this campaign and buying drinks for friends and colleagues. This is exactly the reaction Coke wanted, there are memes, pictures online and even GIF’s of people “finding their name”.

What could be better?

I am struggling to think of anything right now and here is why: Coke are a huge multinational, one of the biggest, with a huge brand, they’ve managed to not only execute a campaign that gets people to buy more Cola and talk about buying more cola but they’ve managed to do it in a totally integrated way, the experience and message is the same across all touchpoints, print, digital, retail and on the packet. This is a feat of activation and logistics. It’s also interesting to note that many companies would not have done this: the cost and logistics of redesigning all those labels for the Coke, Diet Coke and Zero brands then the extra costs of producing different labels in lower volume (maybe only a fraction of a penny per bottle or can but Coke product billions of these) this is a big campaign with big costs but it wasn’t a big risk: Coke clearly grounded their decisions on solid insight and when they decided what to do they went big, no half measures. Good stuff.

Scores on the doors!

10/10 here, it’s a great piece of work!


One response to “Marketing Deconstructed: Share A Coke With Friends

  1. Agree. Was interested to see how we’ll friends and others received it. Saw people laughing and calling friends across the supermarket on Sunday. Good work. On brand, personal and fun. Good stuff.

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