We have to say, we tend to love how Coca Cola runs their marketing. They’ve put out so many genius campaigns in the last year alone that sometimes we feel like it’s impossible to keep up with them. Their latest offering to the product-hungry public is the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, which has just rolled out in the United States. To be honest, it’s nothing new. The same campaign rolled out in Australia all the way back in 2011 with some pretty positive consequences, and now it looks like Coke is hoping to continue that run in the United States.
Much like the original campaign, the ‘Share A Coke’ campaign involves Coca Cola doing something unexpected: dumping their own logo. Instead of the iconic cursive text, they’ve placed some of the most popular names of teens and millenials in the United States on millions of Coca Cola bottles all over the country. ‘Share a Coke’ is a fully multi-faceted campaign, with a strong social media arm (including online bottles), and a ‘Share a Coke’ travelling kiosk tour around the United States dispensing on-the-spot personalized cans.
Will It Work?
There’s no reason to think that a campaign that has already worked in another country quite successfully won’t work for Coca Cola in the United States. In some ways, a smaller Western country like Australia is almost the perfect proving ground for a much larger campaign in America. After all, Australia has a population of just over 22 million compared to the United States’ 310 million plus population.
However, just because they’re both Western countries doesn’t guarantee that the campaign will see the same levels of success. For one thing it’s already run, albeit on the other side of the world, which means that some people are at least vaguely aware of it. The element of surprise that Coca Cola had last time, where they kept quiet on the Australian campaign for some time, isn’t a possibility. They’ve announced the campaign to the public, and now it’s up to them to prove its success.
Certainly, all the signs are there for a popular campaign, at least with a younger generation. There’s an immense viral potential in personalization and customization, both of which feature heavily in the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. With the popular names, and the kiosks on tour, it won’t be hard for the people to get involved. Additionally, running the campaign in summer means that people will be looking to cool off, and Coca Cola can easily fill that gap.
The risks for Coca Cola in this are two-fold. Of course there’s the potential of losing brand recognition by doing away with your own logo, although admittedly this is unlikely. Coca Cola’s coloring alone is immediately identifiable to most of us, and we’re not going to get a customized Coke bottle confused with anything else.
To be honest, the main risk as far as we can see is hubris. Sure we can see what Coca Cola was thinking: This worked last time let’s run it again! But the problem always with reusing old ideas is they don’t have that novelty, that uniqueness of experience, that they might have had last time, which means they have the potential to burn out (or worse, flop) much faster. Only time will tell, but we’re eager to see if Coca Cola can inspire the United States to ‘Share a Coke’, or just cringe at the lack of creativity in Coca Cola’s usually vibrant marketing team.
See more at www.shareacoke.com