Share a Coke

Julkaistu 11.06.2018.

Share a Coke

From the 28th of May to the 18th of June, I will be dedicating my blog to posts written by students in the course Agency in Social Media who analyzed social media campaigns as part of their course work. The fifth post is by Grégoire Michel, Amil Guliyev, Tuija Isohella, Matti Järvinen, Salla Viljas, Mona-Maria Sandström, Elina Turunen and Toni Hautala.

Share a Coke was Coca-Cola’s personalized bottle campaign. The campaign allowed the company to connect with consumers on a personal level. The personalized Coca-Cola bottles reminded the consumers of their friends and family, which made them more likely to buy the drink. It also made sharing pictures of the bottles on social media more tempting since consumers were thinking more of their loved ones instead of promoting a product (Tarver 2015). The campaign was an international success and the sales of Coca-Cola ware rising for the first time in 10 years (McQuilken 2014).

Share a Coke campaign went viral, demonstrating the company's creative concept with an attempt to offer a more charming invitation to everyone. Twitter is one of those effective social media platforms, in which the Coca-Cola brand made great use of Twitter's own way of promotion. The team generated #ShareaCoke hashtag on Twitter that abruptly put together more than 150.000 mentions worldwide. The Coca-Cola group director, Jennifer Healan, stated that “It’s a tremendous opportunity for Coca-Cola to be the first brand and global advertiser to partner with Twitter on this project. Together with fans we successfully created the World’s Largest Cheers! We hope they continue to join on the fun with us. We’re really excited to continue bringing our Coca-Cola emoticons to life again and again across future campaigns.” Their dedication to share the campaign on Twitter astonished Twitter users when they mentioned the #ShareaCoke hashtag and instantly saw an emoticon showing the two bottles clinking. Prior to this campaign, Twitter has never used such mobile emoticon in the global market.

When the campaign idea was first introduced in 2011, social media presence in the society wasn’t as big as today. But the time went by and the growing social media gave new opportunities for the campaign. Instagram was one of them. The Coca Cola company in Australia noticed the potential of Instagram as a marketing channel. Later on, they released a virtual campaign with its own hashtag ‘'#shareacoke’’. (Jay Moey 2014).

Today there are almost 700.000 releases with the hashtag ‘’#shareacoke’’ and Coca-Cola has almost 2,5 million followers.  They’ve used celebrities such as DJ Khaled and Davin ‘’Big Papi’’ Ortiz as a part of the campaign to give further visibility to their products. The company has also made posts about the campaign on numerous special occasions such as Father’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving. Instagram played a big role in the spreading of the campaign.  The sharing opportunities that Instagram has and its easy usability make it one of the best platforms to market the company's products via ‘’#shareacoke’’ campaign.

In social media, among the most important forms of discussion are hashtags. Hashtags are used to put tweets into different categories. On Instagram, interaction between Coca-Cola and customers was highly based on the hashtag #shareacoke. Interaction started with One-to-many interaction when Coca Cola came up with the campaign and hashtag. After the campaign was released, customers continued interacting with the hashtag. One could say that the interaction between the campaign and the customers is one-sided, where Coca-Cola functions as a starting point and leaves the rest of the interaction to the customers. Coca-Cola was wise to leave the interaction to the customers.

In Instagram there are over 650 thousand pictures shared with the hashtag #shareacoke. That might be considered as a message from the customers to Coca-Cola that “Share a Coke” campaign was successful. The core message that Coca-Cola wants to spread through this campaign is that customers should spend more time with their family and friends, while sharing a Coke.

On Twitter, the hashtag #shareacoke was also relevant in the interaction between Coca-Cola and regular twitter users. The idea was that the users could tweet names of people they want to share a coke with, and the account of “Share a Coke With” would respond to them with a picture of virtual Coca-Cola bottles with those names on them. In the response they would also include a link to #shareacoke’s e-shop, where they could order the bottles. Coca-Cola also encouraged Twitter users to share experiences and photos with the hashtag #shareacoke. Interestingly, the hashtag is still very much alive today, as you can see here.

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