Could #shareacoke have been more successful?

Social media, although rarely used back in 2011, was the perfect medium for this campaign.  Comparatively, had Coke decided use other methods to reach out to the target audience, I believe it would not have been as successful.  The use of either an event or a sponsorship/spokesperson would have decreased the consumers ‘trust’ in the campaign, and would have had significantly higher costs, especially for a sponsorship deal.  Chitty et al. (2015, p. 402) have stated that many sponsorship budgets are actually decreasing, as there is no data to support the theory that sponsorships positively influence the buying behaviour of the consumer.  The young target audience has also been shown to have a ‘distrust’ of these kinds of campaigns as they do not believe the opinion of the spokesperson/sponsorship may be truthfully presented.  Other mediums such as magazines and television adverts are often a good way of reaching out to younger target audiences (Chitty et al. 2015, p. 226) but would also run across these problems, as well as the lack of integration or engagement available.

As it where, this highly successful campaign has been duplicated around the globe many times, and is still in use almost seven years later.  It shows no signs of abating, which is a true measure of success, as can be seen in the latest Coca-Cola India commercial (click here to view) which was only released one week ago, and already has almost 6.8 million views!

References

Chitty, B., Luck, E., Barker, N., Valos, M., & Shrimp, T.A., 2015, Integrated marketing communications, 4th Edition., Cengage Learning, Australia.

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Evaluation of #Shareacoke Campaign

As stated in a previous blog (Social Media Storm), the #shareacoke campaign (whose goal was to create more brand awareness amongst young adults) was very successful.  In addition to successfully increasing brand awareness, according to Ogilvy Global (Coca-Cola Share a Coke 2018) they also saw the added bonus of an increase in sales.

After the initial campaign, several follow up events increased the campaigns success.  From the ‘print your own’ pods, to the voting component of new names to be included in the general print run, the awareness and engagement from consumers continued to grow.  Ogilvy Global (Coca-Cola Share a Coke 2018) released the following statistics in the 3 months following the campaign:

  • Volume increased 4%
  • Young Adult consumption increased 7%
  • Facebook traffic increased a phenomenal 870%
  • #Shareacoke became the #1 most talked about Facebook in Australia
  • 121 million earned media impressions on Facebook
  • 242 PR pieces achieving a reach of almost 14 million
  • 378,000 extra cans printed at kiosks

This unprecedented response prompted Coca-cola to implement the campaign in many more countries across the globe.  Lucie Austin (as cited in Moye 2016, para. 23) having been one of the original architects of the campaign, got to implement it in four of the top markets.  To date, the #Shareacoke campaign has been implemented in 70 countries and went on to win 7 awards at the 2012 Cannes Lions Festival (Moye 2016, para. 7).

Share a Coke in Australia

Image: Lucie Austin              Credit: Ogilvy Global

References

Moye, Jay. (2016), Share a Coke: How the groundbreaking campaign got its start ‘Down Under’, Available: https://www.coca-colajourney.com.au/stories/share-a-coke-how-the-groundbreaking-campaign-got-its-start-down-under (accessed 7th April 2018).

Coca-Cola Share a Coke 2018. Ogilvy Global, 7th April 2018, Available: https://www.ogilvy.com.au/our-work/share-coke (accessed 7th April 2018).

Effectiveness of #Shareacoke

Coca-Cola successfully bolstered its brand awareness amongst young adults with its #shareacoke campaign.  The company encouraged engagement with consumers on all their social media accounts with the hashtag #shareacoke, as well as a facebook page ‘Share a Coke’ (with 27,000 ‘likers’).  There was a significant engagement rate, with 1,159 posts on Instagram (while it was still in its infancy with less than 10 million users), and hundreds of thousands of mentions on Twitter (the number of which is still growing due to the popularity of the concept and associated competitions worldwide).   In 2015, Coca-Cola became the first global advertiser to work with Twitter to break a world record for its custom made #shareacoke emoticon, with over 170,000 mentions in a 24 hour period (Coca-cola company 2015).

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Image: The #Shareacoke emoticon designed for the Twitter World Record Attempt

Chitty et al. (2015, p. 160) states “advertising is effective if it accomplishes the advertisers objective”, which in this case was to increase brand awareness amongst its target audience (rather than other goals such as to increase either units sold or profits).  This campaign successfully accomplished the objective.  The decision to use social media (a tool which was suited to their target audience) rather than print media or television advertisements helped to ensure the success of this campaign, due to introducing an interactive engagement feature that other mediums lack.  Social media channels are an easy way to increase brand awareness, make consumers aware of new products and so much more.  As Chitty et al. (2015, p. 232) states, “one in four of the consumers who use social media do so for commercial reasons: to follow their favourite brand”.

References

Chitty, B., Luck, E., Barker, N., Valos, M., & Shrimp, T.A., 2015, Integrated marketing communications, 4th Edition., Cengage Learning, Australia.

The Coca-Cola Company (2015), Cheers, #ShareaCoke emoticon on Twitter and help set a world record: Available: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/coca-cola-unbottled/cheers-shareacoke-on-twitter-and-help-set-a-world-record (accessed 7th April 2018).

Social Media Storm

In 2011, social media was not a broad based advertising medium, in comparison to broadcast and paper mediums.  As mentioned in a previous blog, (An introduction to Coca-Cola) Coca-Cola was among the first to use it as a definitive campaign.

The initial campaign, consisting of the roll-out of named cans and bottles, and the Kings Cross billboard were minimal outlay compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed in the case of a sponsorship or television advertisements (Chitty et al. 2015, p. 398). As Chitty et al. (2015, p. 391) mentions, the use of ‘real people’ to gain attention through social media sharing realises both low expense and high credibility.  The target audience has been shown to mistrust, and disconnect with conventional advertising (Chitty et al. 2015, p. 391), whereas Lucie Austin (as cited in Moye 2016, para. 7) of Coca-Cola wished to connect to their audience, and “speak to them at eye level.”

The simplicity of the campaign, the ideal of just simply spending time with others while drinking said product, led to a lessened chance of misconception of the communication, and no language/cultural barriers to detract from the underlying message (Belch & Belch 2012, p.143).  The use of social media to create user content advertising created a viral campaign through consumer-generated marketing, in an “act of propagating marketing relevant messages through the help and cooperation of individual consumers” (Belch & Belch 2012, p. 143).

Many consumers took place in utilising the #shareacoke hashtag, and visiting the Kings Cross billboard to take part in the text entertainment.  This created an ‘angle’ and excitement surrounding the campaign that media outlets could report on, creating even more free publicity for Coca-Cola.  This led credibility to the campaign, as it was not paid advertising, and created what Chitty et al. (2015, p. 393) refer to as ‘Proactive MPR’.  The immediate nature of social media meant the campaign became very popular in a short amount of time, allowing Coca-Cola to be reassured of the campaign success.  As Belch and Belch (2012) stated;

     social media has become pervasive in our daily lives, and is influencing consumer                   behaviour.  with the advent of social networking tools and the availability of digital               devices such as smartphones and tablets, consumers are more empowered than ever             before as they can access and retrieve information, connect with one another to share          it, discuss products/services and brands, and interact with marketers quickly and easily        (p. 166)

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Image: Social Network Applications.  Credit: Social Media Unicorn

 The disadvantages to this campaign were minimal.  While the outlay was not as high as a sponsorship or paid advertising, the Kings Cross billboard was in a high traffic, (which means expensive) area (Chitty et al. 2015, p. 235) so there would have been financial risks involved.  This would have been compounded by the additional printing and research costs of the labels, however had the campaign not succeeded this would not have put sales at risk as they would not have had to be recalled, but rather sold as normal.

As social media was not a commonly used medium to be the focus of a marketing campaign, it was high risk as there had been no previously successful campaigns to model from.   There was less control than normal campaigns, as the engagement from the public could not be censored, although there were measures put in place to block out any profanity that may have been texted to the billboard display.  All in all, the campaign broke new ground in the area of viral marketing, and could definitely be considered a success in raising brand awareness.

References

Belch, G. E. & Belch, M. A. 2012, Advertising and promotion: an integrated marketing communications perspective, 2nd Edition., McGraw-Hill, Australia.

Chitty, B., Luck, E., Barker, N., Valos, M., & Shrimp, T.A., 2015, Integrated marketing communications, 4th Edition., Cengage Learning, Australia.

Moye, J., (2016), Share a Coke: How the groundbreaking campaign got its start ‘Down Under’, Available: https://www.coca-colajourney.com.au/stories/share-a-coke-how-the-groundbreaking-campaign-got-its-start-down-under (accessed 7th April 2018).

An emotional ride

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Coca-Colas mission statement includes the phrases: ‘to refresh the world’ and ‘to inspire moments of optimism and happiness’ (The Coca-Cola Company 2018). These are the feelings that they wish to encompass with their famous tagline “Taste the Feeling” (The Coca-Cola Company 2018). To reach out to a young adult audience they utilised social media to mould coke into more than just a carbonated beverage. It was to become the drink to indulge in when sharing moments with friends, when celebrating significant others, or when needing relaxed refreshment in a happily lived life. This product was to become more than just homogenised sugar and carbonated water, it was to become a beverage to indulge in emotionally, evoking happy feelings whenever the brand was sighted or ingested. As Chitty et al. (2015, p. 167) pointed out, in a section of the market where there are no significant physical differences in a product, to become a brand leader you must have ‘emotional appeal’. The brand positioning of this product became the drink that ‘brought people together to share happy experiences’ (Chitty et al. 2015, p. 104). The brand image strategy, as referred to by Chitty et al. (2015, p. 163) was to create a psychosocial differentiation rather than a product attribute superiority.

After the initial success of personalised coke, the company set out to be able to include all possible consumers. Many Westfield shopping centres were soon home to ‘print your own’ beverage pods. Any name or nickname could be printed onto a can and kept, or gifted to others. At last count, Ogilvy Global (Coca-Cola Share a Coke 2018) published that 378,000 cans of coke were personalised this way. As Belch (2012, p. 113) asserts, after physiological needs and safety needs have been met, the next highest need is social needs, and the need to belong. To be part of the ‘group’ (that has their own personalised drinks).

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Image: The customisable Coke cans at the ‘print your own’ pods.
As well as print your own, there were also ‘virtual cans’ which could be sent anywhere in the world. This sharing value, which many would agree is an Australian trait, bolstered sales and positive feelings towards coke, and by extension The Coca-Cola company. Ogilvy Global (Coca-Cola Share a Coke 2018) reported a total of 76,000 cans were ‘virtually’ sent around the globe including to many service personnel who were stationed in Afghanistan. This ability to reach out and show love to significant others, and family members, again increased Australians positive attitude towards The Coca-Cola company.

References

Belch, G. E. & Belch, M. A. 2012, Advertising and promotion: an integrated marketing communications perspective, 2nd Edition., McGraw-Hill, Australia.

Chitty, B., Luck, E., Barker, N., Valos, M., & Shrimp, T.A., 2015, Integrated marketing communications, 4th Edition., Cengage Learning, Australia.

Coca-Cola Share a Coke 2018. Ogilvy Global, 7th April 2018, Available: https://www.ogilvy.com.au/our-work/share-coke (accessed 7th April 2018).

The Coca-Cola Company (2015), Cheers, #ShareaCoke emoticon on Twitter and help set a world record: Available: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/coca-cola-unbottled/cheers-shareacoke-on-twitter-and-help-set-a-world-record (accessed 7th April 2018).

 

An introduction to Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

For my analysis of an Intergrated Marketing Campaign, I decided to explore the multinational giant: The Coca-Cola Company. Their recent campaign, ‘Share a coke with…’ pioneered in Australia in 2011, before taking the rest of the world by storm. It begun as a way to re-invigorate Cokes connection to its target market of the younger generation (teens and young adults).  According to the marketing company Ogilvy Global (Coka-Cola Share a Coke 2018) studies had shown that over 50% of this demographic had never tasted a Coke. Over the summer in Australia, 150 of the most commonly used names/monikers were printed on millions of Coke bottles and cans. There was no accompanying TV advertisements, or any explanations of why this transformation had taken place. Additionally, an iconic billboard in Kings Cross, Sydney became an interactive display whereby individuals could text their name, or a friends name, and see it come up as a virtual logo (see it here https://youtu.be/JG8pzVDYgNQ )

Without any explanation of why Coke suddenly had names printed on their labels, people became curious, creating word of mouth influences (Belch & Belch 2012, p.148) both in face to face contacts and social media. Consumers wanted to be able to find their own name, to have a ‘personalised’ bottle or can of coke, or to gift a named bottle to a friend or significant other.

Those who discovered the Kings Cross interactive billboard would submit names to be displayed via text, and would take pictures of themselves with their names up on the billboard behind them, and share via social media. Reaching out to their target audience via social media from ‘normal’ people enhanced cokes credibility amongst the younger generation, who have become disenfranchised by regular advertisements trying to ‘push them into consumption’ (Chitty et al. 2015, p. 391).

This move away from regular paid advertisements on television or other media was unprecedented. As Jeremy Rudge (Creative excellence lead on the project, as cited in Moye, 2016) said;
          …managing in social media was still relatively new for brands. It was the first time               we’d had digital at the heart of a campaign. Instagram had only 10 million users                     worldwide at the time and wasn’t factored into our planning. The markets that                        followed us had an entirely new channel to work with. (para. 20.)

Their risk paid off as “social media chatter and media coverage blew up” (Moye, 2016. para. 4).  Coke had managed to both reach their target audience, and encourage them to engage in the campaign naturally.

 

References:

Belch, G. E. & Belch, M. A. 2012, Advertising and promotion: an integrated marketing communications perspective, 2nd Edition., McGraw-Hill, Australia.

Chitty, B., Luck, E., Barker, N., Valos, M., & Shrimp, T.A., 2015, Integrated marketing communications, 4th Edition., Cengage Learning, Australia.

Moye, J., (2016), Share a Coke: How the groundbreaking campaign got its start ‘Down Under’, Available: https://www.coca-colajourney.com.au/stories/share-a-coke-how-the-groundbreaking-campaign-got-its-start-down-under (accessed 7th April 2018).

Coca-Cola Share a Coke 2018. Ogilvy Global, 7th April 2018, Available: https://www.ogilvy.com.au/our-work/share-coke (accessed 7th April 2018).