Did you find your name yet? Yes, you knew exactly what I was talking about from that title: #ShareaCoke. An ingenious advertising campaign that all started back in 2012 in Australia.
With the trend in the last decade for a healthier life style and therefore a healthier diet, sodas have been the criminal behind obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns prevalent in the U.S., and the world at large. The result? A cliff falling decline in sales of both regular coke and diet coke – two of Coca-Cola’s flagship product lines. Since 2007, just in the U.S., sales for regular coke declined 9.4%, and diet coke comes in worse with a 19.2% decline. In fact for 13 years, sales has been at a steady, accelerating decline.
This all changed since #ShareaCoke. Personalization. A simple concept many companies, especially in the jewelry and accessories industry incorporate on a regular basis – but who would have thought to personalize beverages? The idea is very simple. Your name, printed on a coke bottle or can. What could that possibly do? Flip a sales trend that’s plagued a multibillion dollar company for over a decade. That’s what. With 250 popular names printed and sold in stores, in addition to the coke truck tour that allowed for on-the-sort labeling of any name on cans at 500 locations across the country, it became a frenzy. To top it all off, terms of endearment such as “BFF” and “Soulmate” to universally relatable tags as “Mom” and “Dad” were in the mix sold in stores as well. The promotion began in June 2014 in the US and has caused sales of coke to increase by 2.5% already! 0.4% increase in soda consumption is less impressive than the immediate 7% consumption increase in Australia, but it’s still an increase.
It is very interesting that a value of the same exact bottle of coke can increase so much to a consumer just by having their name printed on the label. A very good psychological manipulation: it has been shown in psychological studies that people tend to favor objects with a name/label that have their names fully, or even partially, incorporated. What makes this phenomenon even more intriguing is that most people unconsciously make this choice of favoritism towards their name. As a marketing scheme, this “side effect” must be better in that customers do not feel manipulated. It’s a turn off to customers when they can tell there is a sales strategy pushed at them, but since they are unconsciously being guided to buy Coca-Cola’s products, this adds to the impressiveness of this marketing campaign.
In addition, effectively using social media as a way to spread this campaign with #ShareaCoke, it instantly tied a global community of people who have shared the same experiences of having this special coke, and being a part of this marketing campaign became the hottest trend. It was a self propelling scheme in no time, where consumers were more than willing to spread the word. Now that’s ingenious marketing.
Are you in? Who will you share with?