Canadians Share A Coke


Share a Coke Jason

A marketing campaign’s success in one part of the world certainly merits consideration to be repeated in other parts.  As such, the initial Australian Share a Coke campaign has been repeated in many other countries, recently coming to Canada earlier this month.  The Canadian campaign customizes 591ml/16oz bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet-Coke, and Coke Zero with people’s names on them.  One side will feature the customized name while the other side still says Coca-Cola.  Coca-Cola will be putting nearly 300 popular Canadian’s names on their bottle labels and then shipping them out to retailers.  Sadly, my name (Jason) does not qualify for one of the 300 most popular Canadian names (find out whether yours is here) so I’ll have to go to a kiosk machine to actually get my name printed on a bottle.  These kiosks will be available all through summer, in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto.

Funny enough – or smartly – Coca-Cola has provided some parameters around naming, at least for the online portion.  Words that do not exist in their word bank are met with a question mark and an invitation to add the name to their word bank (must be reviewed first).  This prevents people from abusing the labeling system or from using it for malicious intent.  Seems like they’ve learned their lesson from the vitaminwater fiasco from earlier in the year.

Coca-Cola does have safeguard parameters to prevent abuse.  Even the word "Hello" cannot be printed on the label for sharing since it's not in the word bank.  Courtesy of shareacoke.ca.
Coca-Cola does have safeguard parameters to prevent abuse. Even the word “Hello” cannot be printed on the label for sharing since it’s not in the word bank. Courtesy of shareacoke.ca.

All in all, not a bad campaign to extend beyond Australia.  When the customized name campaign first rolled, media outlets and consumers alike picked up on this.  It was categorized as a strong success given the increase in awareness and social media engagement.  The Canadian campaign is decidedly different from the original campaign.  For one, social media engagement plays a different role in Canada than Australia.  The Australian components allowed consumers to create a custom commercial through their Facebook album as well as enter to win $50,000.   More interestingly, the campaign also included customized “name songs” that could be downloaded, which showed a personalized touch between Coke, music, and the individual.  The Canadian iteration of this campaign focuses more on social engagement to share the customized label, but removes the contest and name songs.

Another key difference between the original and Canadian campaign is the product assortment.  Our Canadian campaign includes naming labels for Diet Coke and Coke Zero as well.  This is a sound move whereby Coca-Cola understands the geographical differences and taste preferences of Canadians.  Many consumers prefer Coca-Cola, but there are a growing number of Canadians that are looking for lower calorie soda alternatives.

Considering the campaign’s objective to be identical to the Australian objective of raising awareness and driving sales, this one likely is another success story for Coca-Cola’s marketing campaigns.  Personalized labels and engagement across social platforms help to increase Share a Coke’s publicity.  And consumers seeking out these custom bottles will certainly help fuel sales, where they get the added benefit of finding their own, customized bottle of refreshment.  This certainly fits into their overarching “Over Happiness” campaign.  Here’s the first clip to highlight The Sharing Begins.

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