Ad Spotlight: “Share a Coke”

You’ve probably seen these new coke cans all over the place, ranging from “Share a Coke with Mike” to “Share a Coke with Your Bestie.” While the campaign got its start in Australia, “Share a Coke” has swept through the United States and other countries too. I first encountered this campaign at a fair where there were two kiosks Coca-Cola had set up to custom-print mini cans for free. My boyfriend and I then stood in line for 20 minutes to get a pair. Needless to say, this was one of the best souvenirs I’ve ever gotten.

What Makes It Great

Jon and I share a CokeThe need for brand personalization isn’t new. With social media, we can see how companies try to personalize everything, ranging from subject line emails (“Hi Celine, We Have a Gift Ideas for You!”) to home pages (“Welcome Back, Celine! Here’s What You Missed!”). However, personalizing actual products is much harder. Coke initially started with the most common names in each country, aiming to hit a little under 50% of its customers.

Yet, with its travel kiosks, it allowed people with more uncommon names (like me) to participate as well. (I don’t want to think about how much all those free cokes at these kiosks cost the company, but the effect was spectacular.) And now, Coke has even set up a website where you can buy these custom-made bottles.

What Could Improve

It’s hard to say what could improve on this campaign. It’s personalized, it’s clever, it has scope for emotional attachment, and even my boyfriend, who doesn’t even drink Coke, swears he’ll never get rid of the cans we got.

Whom would you want to share a Coke with?

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