Coca-Cola Puts Personalized Coke Cans In South African Stores

While Pepsi, Coca Cola’s closest competitor, has made a career out of its association with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, taking things to the edge and coming up with some kickass and badass tv commercial concepts, Coke has rarely succumbed to the glamorous opportunities of celebrities. It has avoided silver and black as the dominant color of its campaigns. It has certainly avoided anything edgy and “dangerous”.

Coke has remained faithful to the values it has been known for, warm, wholesome and unapologetically squishy. I have to admit that sometimes, I wonder how long it will be able to sustain the concept. After all, what else is there to explore about ‘wholesome lovin’.

When it came out with the Coke Happiness vending machine, I thought things will go downhill from there. When other countries came out with their own version and nothing compared to the first one, I thought I was right.

Until South Africa came out with a way to make their relationship with their customers even more personal.

Coca-Cola shares a Coke with South Africa

Coke is swapping their brand name with the name of their customers. Coca -Cola South Africa chose 600 of the most popular names in South Africa and put the name on the can or bottle instead of the name of their brand. In addition, Share a Coke vending machines will be on tour so that consumers can personalize their very own Coca-Cola cans.

In addition, they can also create their own virtual personalized Coke can on Facebook and, to share with someone special.

Personalization is the Way to Go

Personalization is not that new as a marketing tactic. Many clothing brands alter their clothes to fit the consumer’s size perfectly. Phones, computers, shoes and other products allow their customers to customize their product using a host of options. However, Coca-Cola is the biggest company to personalize their product in such a detail. Imagine seeing a Coca-Cola can with your name on it!

True to Coca-Cola’s tradition, they are launching the campaign with a TV commercial, “Share a Coke with Bobby”.

The commercial follows the story of a loveable dog as he interacts with lots of people during his search for his own name up in lights. South Africa is the first country on the African continent to kick off this campaign, and therefore we have customized all aspects of the campaign to fit local insights, culture and humour.

“It’s great to see entertaining storytelling alongside a musical anthem that captures South African youth sub-cultures,” states Therese.

Unfortunately the campaign is no longer active and you cannot request a name; however, you might still find one of these cans floating around!

Written by Xath Cruz

Xath Cruz worked for the traditional advertising industry for more than 10 years handling international blue chip clients. She started doing digital advertising and marketing and web property development 4 years ago. She is also a screenplay writer with several full length movies under her belt.


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  1. Can u please Personalise the name SIMANGO in Cocacola product and send the image of it to my email. I will show my family so that we will use the personalised products during our Family meeting all over the Country and other country. my family found in Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland.

  2. the great Nigeria company… kudos to the person darh brought d idea..””share a coke””…thumbs up!!!.
    .. burh no one has ever shared a coke with Emmanuel..after buying several of cokes
    … I’m using dis medium to tell u dat .I want people to also share a coke with Emmanuel

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