Monday, February 10, 2014

The story behind the Coke “Name Campaign”

Coca-Cola has always been one of the kings when it comes to effective and innovative marketing and advertising. But recently the “name campaign”, that sees the names of people printed onto their cans and bottles, has been not only effective and innovative but quite ingenious.

The South African campaign was inspired by a similar “Share a Coke” campaign that took place in Australia, but bringing this idea to fruition in South Africa – the rainbow nation with much more diversity than other countries – proved to be a gigantic and difficult task but not one that was impossible.

Coke, being brilliant at what they do, used algorithms to work out what the most popular names amongst South Africans were. And because their largest consumer and target market is teenagers, they approached the Department of Home Affairs for lists of names of people born between 1994 and 2000. After receiving those names, the real task of narrowing them down based on language, gender and region began. They needed a wide range of names that would appeal to the masses.

Whereas Australia used only 10 themes on their cans and bottles, the South African brand strategists set themselves the ambitious goal of 150. With help from a printing investor investing in their digital printing equipment, Coke managed to pull it off. So that now when you open a fridge in the supermarket, or wherever, to grab a can of Coke, there are various random names as opposed to one name repeated several times.

The company also went on tour with their vending machines around the country, with some still being carried out in other provinces, so consumers could get their own personalized cans if they didn’t happen to find their name already. There is also a facility on their website to create virtual personalized cans.

Coca Cola has always set themselves apart from other brands, especially their biggest competitor Pepsi, and based their advertising and marketing on wholesome values and relationships. With this personalized campaign, they have managed to draw closer to their South African consumers than ever before definitely making sure their success is only going to grow.

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