Today I am going to discuss what is possibly one of the greatest marketing strategies of my time – and to no one’s surprise, it belongs to Coca-Cola.
They have unleashed the beast that is “Share a Coke”, which, for those of you living under a rock, involves creating Coke bottles, replacing their iconic logo with people’s names; they are the top 150 (now 250 with the recent release of 100 more) most popular names, by country. While there are some unusual ones that make the list there are plenty of Irish spelled names that can be found in shops everywhere. Some people complain that they can’t find their name, others don’t like buying coke bottles with other people’s names on them. But not me.
I take my hat off to Coca-Cola. I’ve never seen anything like this. They actually stay completely away from the idea of getting your own name. They ride on the fact that if you see your friend’s or your sister’s or your mother’s or your neighbour’s or your classmate’s or your dog’s name on a bottle, you will buy it for them. The first time I started seeing named Coke bottles was in Killarney on a college class trip. We made a pact there and then to buy bottles that we see with each others name on them; that was an instant group sell. I don’t even really ever buy bottles of coke (I’m not a big soft drink drinker unless at home with pizza or at the cinema with popcorn) but so far I’ve bought four for no reason other than to give them as gifts because they had people’s name on them. Three days before a friend’s birthday, I shamelessly walked into every shop, moving Coke bottles around to find one ‘Caoimhe’. There are four sales to one person in the last two months that Coke never would have made otherwise. You see my point.
There is no doubt that there are thousands of ads consumed by us every single day, and it’s tough to be good enough to make your head turn and take notice. You could also argue that this is not the kind of campaign Coca-Cola needed, as it is such an established brand. But this was absolute genius in terms of marketing and they deserve every sale they get from anyone who is willing to pay for a Coke bottle they don’t want to give to someone whose name is on it.