Letting the People do the Marketing for You

About a week or two ago, Coca Cola Company brought in representatives to work a station in the Campus Center’s main concourse.  They stood there, from my understanding, all week long manning a machine that spit out miniature Coke cans with whatever name you wanted on it.  You could wait in line as many times as you wanted but you could only get two cans per time.

The idea behind this was that you would create a can with your name on it and a second can with a name of a family member or friend to share with them.  Having a relatively uncommon name in the US (Elan) I have never been able to buy a magnet, key chain, etc. with my name on it.  For this reason I got very excited and had to stand in line waiting even though the wait was about 30 minutes.

While waiting in line, I saw people giving cans to friends, taking pictures with them, posting on social media about the experience and so on and I realized that what Coke was doing was brilliant.  I’m sure many of us have never seen any marketing strategy like this.  The excitement of receiving a personalized object for free got people so excited that they were suddenly promoting Coke knowingly or unknowingly to all their friends.  I saw several posts from people with pictures commenting about how great Coke was.

Coke made the experience very personal and took a big step in building a relationship with potential consumers.  I for one, do not prefer Coke Classic or regular Pepsi BUT, I really do think that now I would take a Coke over a Pepsi.  They gave me an experience that I was never able to receive and were able to put a smile on my face as well as people’s faces without even drinking their product.

All-in-all, I am sure that the whole endeavor was not to expensive for a company like Coca-Cola and I do believe that it was well worth it for them.  When I see a friend post about a product they enjoyed, it becomes much more enticing than a product from a commercial that I saw during a football game.  By making the experience personal Coke used one of the most brilliant marketing strategies that I think I have ever seen.  Letting the people do the marketing for them.


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