Share A Coke And The Metrics That Brought It To Life
Author Kristy Loveday
“Share a Coke” was a campaign formed in Australia during 2011, for Coca-Cola (Coke) when sales in the soda industry had been in decline for ten consecutive years. The health conscious consumer was fuelling a downward trend of soda consumption and the brand was perceived as predictable, too familiar and irrelevant. Coca-Cola needed a ground breaking campaign to change the trend and turn the business around. Coca-Cola America were confident in the campaign because the Australian conglomerate used marketing metrics, to measure the risk and accountability involved prior to launch.
“Share a Coke” was the concept of printing one hundred and fifty of Australia’s most popular names on Coke cans and bottles, to encourage people to get together and share a good time over a Coke. They rolled the launch out with pop up kiosks across 18 Westfield centres where consumers could go and personalise a Coca-Cola can with any name of their choosing.
Two years later the campaign was a huge success returning Coca-Cola to positive growth. The campaign created a 2.5% increase in total sales for the company and contributed to a 0.4% increase in soft drink volume. Financials were not the only measurement important in reviewing the campaign success; there were key insights around likeability that saw customers purchasing the cans of coke as they enjoyed seeing their personalised product on an iconic brand. Some customers found the item a keepsake, which promoted the collectability of these personalised Coke products. This highlighted the level of brand loyalty and awareness customers had for Coca-Cola, two general metrics often used to measure marketing performance.
Customers did not just purchase for themselves, the personalisation of the product saw customers purchasing the products as gift for others, a concept that a regular can of Coke would not necessarily induce. Customers were encouraged to share their purchase and experience on social media, promoting organic conversations across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twtitter. This generated huge amounts of content for Coca-Cola with more than five hundred thousand photos tagged with the “Share a Coke” hash tag and gained Coca-Cola an estimated twenty million extra Facebook followers.
The idea of the “Share a Coke” campaign was born from market research, a memory metric that highlighted the opportunity Coca-Cola had to be more relevant with millennials. As explained by Lucie Austin, Director of Marketing for Coca-Cola, South Pacific “Our research showed that while teens and young adults loved that Coca-Cola was big and iconic, many felt we were not talking to them at eye level. Australians are extremely egalitarian. There’s a phrase called “tall poppy syndrome.” If anyone gets too big for their boots, they get cut down like a tall poppy. By putting first names on the packs, we were speaking to our fans at eye level.”
Jeremy Rudge, the Creative Excellence Lead behind “Share a Coke” explains the accountability the marketing team employed around the risk management of the concept. “ There was a great deal of nervousness internally. Not so much about the idea, but about the scale of approvals we’d need to go through, and ensuring we had accounted for all risk factors. There were countless late-night conference calls with the global team in Atlanta, risk assessment meetings, and conversations with trademark counsel, bottling partners and other stakeholders.” Using marketing metrics ensured the marketing team were accountable for the launch.
The advantage of using marketing metrics allowed Coca-Cola to clearly identify areas to improve their product and marketing strategy. By leveraging memory metrics Coca-Cola were then able to create a strategy to impact on financial metrics and behavioural metrics, allowing further opportunities, to better understand customer needs and desires to market their product. Without utilising marketing metrics do you think Coca-Cola would have achieved such growth after their ten-year slump?
- Esterl, 2014, Wall Street Journal, http://www.wsj.com/articles/share-a-coke-credited-with-a-pop-in-sales-1411661519
- Moye, 2014, Coca-cola.com.au, http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/share-a-coke-how-the-groundbreaking-campaign-got-its-start-down-under
- com.au, viewed 20 May 2016, http://ogilvy.com.au/our-work/share-coke
- Robertson, Bednall 2016, MPK732 Marketing Management, lecture 1, week 10: Marketing Evaluation, lecture PowerPoint slides, viewed 20 May 2016,https://d2l.deakin.edu.au/d2l/le/content/414166/viewContent/2918964/View
- Youtube viewed 20 May 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wnJpTpbJPE