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Posted on 07.24.2014

“Share a Coke” Provides Refreshingly Fun Marketing Communications Campaign

I'll admit it. Since the beginning of June, I've been searching in vain. Every time I stop to fill up the gas tank or cruise the aisles of my local grocery store, I secretly wonder if this day will bring my quest to an end. My 10-year old son encountered the current bane of my existence. Unfortunately, I was in a rush, this time to get my youngest child to soccer practice. I didn't hear him casually mention that the beverage cooler at the convenience store included a perfectly chilled bottle of Coca-Cola...with my first name prominently featured! You can imagine my anguish when he mentioned it hours later.

As I issue this veiled Coke all-points bullet to Lovell blog readers, I am discovering I am in good company. At church, my mom's recent birthday party and even in my own home, the new Coke marketing campaign that lists share-a-cokethe most popular names of Millennials on the iconic Coke logo was a hot topic of conversation.

First launched in Australia in 2012 and kicked off in the U.S. in June, the campaign has now been "shared" internationally with more than 50 countries and has generated growing social media buzz for the beverage behemoth. The company reported to the Wall Street Journal that more than 125,000 campaign-related posts across all communication channels from June 2 -July 14. Among those, 96% of consumer opinion was either positive or neutral. Furthermore, the Coca-Cola campaign has championed more brand chatter than Coors Light and Bud Light, the article said. From June 1 - July 11, 12% of Coke conversation was due to the current marketing phenomenon.

Despite my and the marketing industry's current obsession with "Share a Coke," the campaign has not translated into an earnings boost. In fact, it's quite the opposite. This week, the company reported 1% decline in revenue from the same quarter in 2013, and a 3% revenue decline for the first half of 2014, compared to last year.

So while the Wall Street investment community may yawn and ultimately snooze at the lackluster company performance, the PR and marketing industry continues to marvel at the simplistic, ingenious campaign that seems to be trending toward greater brand awareness and marketing success.

You can check to see if you might find your name on a Coke product during your next shopping excursion at www.shareacoke.com.

We are midway through 2014, so the industry-selected winners for the top campaigns of the year have yet to be named. See some of the early contenders in Top Social Media Campaigns of 2014 So Far. While you're at it, take a stroll down memory lane and see The Most Unforgettable Ad Campaigns of 2013, and some of Rosemary Plorin's favorite campaigns from way back in the blog The Power of Pressing Forward.

If you encounter my name, I'd be thrilled if you would kindly Share a Coke with Andrea by sending a photo of the coveted bottle via email at andrea@lovell.com or Twitter at @aewinturner. In the meantime, I will stay thirsty, my friends! (Yes, I know that the Dos Equis slogan!)



Andrea Ewin Turner is a Senior Account Supervisor at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Andrea's blogs at http://lovell.com/author/andrea-turner/. Connect with Andrea at Andrea@lovell.com or @aewinturner.

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