Villing & Company

Coke Plays Name Game to Perfection

When’s the last time you really paid attention to a Coke can? I’m not talking about being mildly aware when the brand changes things up at the holidays to feature the now-traditional polar bears or that your Coke cans earlier this summer honored the FIFA World Cup. In between, of course, you may have noticed the obligatory designs saluting the Olympics this winter if you really think hard. In other words, the cans/bottles are redesigned so frequently, and predictably I might add, that you really don’t pay much attention at a certain point.

However, in the waning days of summer, the brand has definitely cut through the clutter with its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. Aimed at the teen and Millennial audience, the campaign has exploded over social media channels the last few months. By replacing their iconic logo with popular first names, Coke has created an Instagram post waiting to happen for youths who now migrate to refrigerated beverage cases in convenience stores and restaurants in search of cans/bottles that feature their name, or those of their friends and loved ones. If found, it’s often a simple camera phone picture and a post away from further promoting one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Better yet, if a particular name is located in the aforementioned refrigerated case, like that of a best friend or boyfriend, my guess is that it is often being purchased. A double win for Coke.

As an added bonus, parents of teens and young adults, like yours truly, can’t help but become more aware of the brand ourselves just through natural interactions with our kids. Just the other night, our daughters were amazed that the names of their two best friends were somehow magically featured side by side in a refrigerated case during a family visit to an ice cream shop. Of course, the iPhone quickly came out. Everyone had to see this. Let the sharing begin.

How long will America’s youth continue to be attracted by this promotion? I may be wrong but I’m thinking that, within months, kids will have generally moved on. Like a favorite summer top 40 song that loses favor by Labor Day, the excitement and novelty of seeing a name on a soda can will cease to be something that motivates them to click, post and even purchase at close to the same rate as it did a few months before.

However, by that time, Coke will have moved on as well – to another campaign that I’m sure will build off the success they started this summer. Regardless, they certainly have hit on the right formula.

Filed Under: branding

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