A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations
Thursday, March 27, 2014
A PR Case Study: Share a Coke
by Kiley Skene
The world we live in today hovers around the digital space, and the way we connect with one another continues to evolve. It might seem as though the more people we connect with online, the fewer we actually see in real life. Coca Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, noticed this and decided to adapt to this changing environment.
Coca Cola came up with a campaign that would encourage people to connect with the brand equally online and offline. The company swapped its usual branding on its bottles and cans with 150 of the UK’s most common names. Each of these had the hashtag #sharacoke to encourage users to promote the brand online. Genius right? But how exactly did they execute this?
Before the campaign launch, Coke bottles with names on them began appearing in fridges throughout Australia. This allowed customers to notice the names in place of the logos themselves, creating online conversations and media awareness. The campaign then launched across numerous channels.
The story first broke out in The Australian newspaper, trailed by a flow of marketing trade coverage. Next, the TVC’s, which presented volunteered photos of real people whose names were on a Coke, first aired across the biggest weekend in Australian sport – the AFL (Australian Football League) and NRL (National Rugby League) grand finals. This reached more than 30% of the population.
Coke also reached out to celebrity influencers with a large social media track by sending personalized kits with a Coke product bearing their name and campaign messaging to share with their network of fans.
Customers were also asked to SMS a friend’s name, which was projected live onto the iconic ‘Coca-Cola’ sign at Sydney’s King’s Cross. They then received an MMS with a link to a picture of the name on the board allowing them to share their friend’s name in lights, through Facebook and email.
After the initial launch, Coca-Cola received thousands of requests for more names. They immediately prepared thousands of kiosks that toured 18 Westfield shopping centers inviting consumers to personalize a Coca-Cola can with any name they wanted.
Even after this, Coke STILL continued to collect requests for more and more names. They listened to their Facebook audience and asked them who they wanted to ‘Share a Coke’ with most. After more than 65,000 people got their say, Coke bottles with 50 new names were up for grabs.
As you can tell, this campaign produced some incredible results. Young adult intake increased by 7%. The campaign also produced a total of more than 18,300,000 media impressions, and traffic on the Coke Facebook site increased by 870%, with page likes going up 39%. Seventy-six thousand virtual Coke cans were shared online and 378,000 custom Coke cans were printed at local Westfield malls across the country.
Other articles in this series: