This case demonstrates how ‘Coca-Cola’ and its agencies regained relevance in a highly competitive beverage market. The power of the first name and the world’s most iconic brand brought people together and re-united Australians with the idea of getting together over a ‘Coca-Cola’ soft drink. A key market challenge was that a plethora of competitors provided alternative solutions that tapped into the heartland of ‘Coca-Cola’: being consumed when people come together, connect and share a good time. Fickle teens and young adults admired the big, iconic summer campaigns of the past but unfortunately the strong brand health figures did not translate into product sales. Generally, teens, young adults and household Shoppers were buying ‘Coca-Cola’ less frequently. The brand set out to re-unite Australians with the idea of getting together and sharing a good time over a Coca-Cola. It wanted people to consume the product, not just to love the brand. The idea should have mass appeal with a focus on 24 year-olds who have not had a ‘Coca-Cola’ for over a year.
The idea was to print the 150 most popular Australian names on bottles to remind Aussies not only of those people currently in their lives, but also people they may have lost touch with, and give them a reason to connect. And thus, our ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was born. The campaign aimed to quickly become social currency among family and friends. The brand therefore had to listen to what consumers were doing with the campaign in order to be able to surprise, to keep the campaign’s momentum up, and spark some further conversations. The campaign launched across the biggest weekend in Australian sport. To fuel media buzz, personalised ‘Coke’ cans were sent to local celebrities who invited their network of fans to connect and ‘Share a Coke’. Radio and social media channels such as Facebook were also used to achieve mass participation.
Sales transactions across bottles and cans of ‘Coke’ grew by three per cent and volume increased by four per cent. Reversing the trend in the declining sparkling category of -0.7 per cent during the wettest Australian summer since records began 111 years ago. And an astonishing 5 per cent of Aussies have started to enjoy ‘Coca-Cola’ again when getting together to have a good time. The campaign marked a reawakening of a life-long relationship with the world’s most iconic brand.