#ShareACoke is Obviously Social

We thought Coca Cola’s day in the sun was over after Matthew Weiner constructed the series finale of Mad Men around struggling, meditating, ad-man Don Draper’s epiphanous pitch for the famous 1970’s  “I Want to Buy the World a Coke” campaign.  

Not to be outdone by their small-screen counterparts, however, real-life Coca Cola launched a revamped and expanded version of their 2014 “Share a Coke” packaging and social media campaign back in April, which electrified the Obviously Social office the minute the bottles hit the shelves and #ShareACoke went viral.

The latest iteration replaces the iconic Coca Cola insignia on all Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero bottles with 1,000 of the most popular names in America. While the packaging redesign is cute, in social media-land, the company’s exploitation of the “share” double-entendre was what brought strategists around the office to their knees. #ShareACoke has gone viral, primarily on Instagram and Twitter. Consumers around the world are posting photos of their “Share a Coke” bottles, tagging their friends, “Dad,” or “Sis,” and virtually “sharing” their soda. In addition to increasing the size of the campaign by around 400% this go-around, new this summer, Coke’s offering enhanced personalization for those with more unique names: you can order a personalized bottle through Coke’s new dedicated site for the campaign.

 

The concept, abstractly, is social media gold, bridging the gap between #IRL and virtual social content. Beyond abstraction, the devil is in the details, and Coke’s details have amplified the campaign’s effectiveness and achieved the elusive social media trophy in today’s mile-a-minute news cycle: longevity.

The uber “Instagrammable” bottles themselves are continuously generating thousands of posts using #ShareACoke, all of which are compiled on Coke’s virtual Share Gallery. Beyond just sharing, bottles with tags like “Share a Coke With Your Ex” invite interaction and engagement, creating an online dialogue around the bottles.

Furthermore, not satisfied with charming #IRL Coke drinkers into sharing responses to their beverage online, Coke has expanded the campaign to include: virtual bottle creation and sharing, an ability to earn points in Coke’s existing “My Coke Rewards” program, a national Share a Coke Tour with mobile soda-can personalization, a @ShareACokeWith Twitter feed creating virtual bottles for users, and our personal favorite,  the “What’s in a Name” widget where you can learn fun facts about your name and its history (fueled by a partnership with Google).

Taking a balls-to-the-wall approach to the modern-day advertising campaign by engaging social media directly with its product and repeatedly captivating audiences through innovative ways to interact with the brand online, Coca Cola has again cemented itself as the unparalleled king of American consumerism and marketing.

Don Draper would be proud.

By Bailey Stonecipher 

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