Case study: What brands can learn from the integrated Share a Coke campaign of 2013

Case study: What brands can learn from the integrated Share a Coke campaign of 2013
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Summer 2013 saw Coca-Cola replace its iconic branding with 150 of the UK’s most popular names for its multimedia Share a Coke campaign, which produced some impressive results. But just what can other brands learn from it? Market research company YouGov shares the secrets of Coke’s winning campaign.

Last summer saw a flurry of activity down the supermarket drink aisles – adults and children alike scrambled through stacks of Coca-Cola, all eager to grab a bottle bearing their name. It seemed like almost everyone was sucked in by the Share a Coke campaign which exploded across Facebook, Twitter and TV advertising.

This unique and innovative approach to personalisation triggered research firm YouGov to roll out a study to ascertain just how and why Share a Coke was so successful and what other brands can take away from this success.

Background to the campaign Share a Coke, created by Ogilvy & Mather Sydney, launched in Australia in 2012. The integrated campaign was launched in Britain on 29 April 2013 and ran until the end of the summer. The soft drink giant replaced its usual branding with 150 of the UK’s most popular names. It was a multimedia effort, with TV adverts, billboards, and experiential marketing in the form of Coca-Cola 'tours' where participants could have their own custom bottle made. Each bottle also carried the hashtag #shareacoke to encourage users to share bottles with their names, as well as those of friends and family, using social media.

Reasons behind the research YouGov decided to study its progression and impact with UK consumers for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was already tracking Coca-Cola and its sub-brands, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, using its consumer perception tool. Second, YouGov was drawn by the dynamic nature of the campaign, and how it cut across multiple mutually-reinforcing mediums, including TV, Twitter and Facebook. Finally, Share a Coke’s innovative approach to personalisation made it a fascinating prospect.
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