Tuesday 30 April 2013

Today's Review: Coca Cola's "Share A Coke" Campaign

Well, apparently it's almost summer, so it's time for Coca Cola to inform people that their drink is the best damn feel good summer drink they can imbibe, because people have probably forgotten after being told but a few months ago that Coca Cola is the best damn Christmas drink they can imbibe. So Coca Cola are encouraging you to get outside, and then go inside somewhere, and buy one of their newly branded Cokes, which encourages you to... share it?

Okay, this campaign hasn't come out of the blue. It's already been implemented in Australia with some success (although I doubt the validity of someone who sounds like the offspring of a kid's movie voiceover and a motivational speaker). But I can't help but feel slightly baffled by the whole thing. Basically, Coca Cola have taken the top 150 names in the country, and emblazoned them on random bottles, coupled with a message suggesting you share your Coke with someone of said name. Perhaps I'm not a particularly generous person, but I didn't think sharing Coke bottles between people was that big of a thing. Sure, the share size bottles can be measured out, and in this case those encourage you to share with a more general "friends" and "family". But these names are written on 500ml bottles, even the tiny 375ml bottles. I don't want to share that with anyone else, there's barely enough for me in there.

Besides, having looked through a few of these bottles, I hardly know anyone with the names that are scrawled all over them. What am I supposed to do if I glance at my randomly picked bottle and see that I have to share it with Ross? Do I have to run around the streets asking people's names in order to comply with its wishes? What if my friends have strange names that aren't included in this elitist 150? I'll have to say "sorry, no Coke for you and your weird stupid name".

Okay, I'm being silly here. I understand you're probably not meant to share your single Coke with a person. The real idea is that you grab one with your name, one with your friend's name, and give Coca Cola the double profits that they really deserve, all in the name of summer fun and sharing. But I don't buy it. The thought of having my name on the bottle of Coke I'm drinking doesn't really excite me. Sure, there will probably be people out there grabbing frantically at bottles until they find themselves (physically, but perhaps existentially eventually), but that would mess up a lot of Coke displays and that makes me sad.

But, having read a few articles concerning the success of the campaign in Australia, apparently it is effective. So while I may not understand, there's a lot of marketing force behind this thing that integrates personalised physical objects, TV, social media and the like, and most people eat that shit up nowadays. So here's to a summer of people giving us Cokes with our names on. Unless you have a weird, stupid name. I'm lucky, mine's right up there.

My rating: 3/5


  1. I live in Australia, and a friend's family collected up one for each person in their family of 6. Including the dog.

    But wait, it gets worse, the size of the coke bottle/can matched up approximately with the size of the family member.

    1. Well obviously, there's no way a dog could down a 500ml bottle. I'm sure there's someone out there with a complete collection of names, a room of bottles filled with sticky residue, and the resulting flies.