Coca-Cola is a brand name of a carbonated soft drink that is being sold all over the world. It is a refreshment drink produced by the Coca-Cola Company. Most people refer to it simply as coke. The manufacturing is done in a few steps. The Coca-Cola Company produces the drink in concentrated form to the bottler companies. These bottler companies then add filtered water and sweeteners to the concentrate and then being package coke in cans and bottles. John Pemberton invented this drink in the 19th century, and sold it to Asa Griggs Candler, who used marketing strategy that ensured its spread all over the world. The strategy was achieved through selling, distributing and merchandising the products to vendors, retailers, restaurants as well as other food service distributors. The main factor behind the success of this company is the marketing planning used by the management. The Coca-Cola Company is using various ads in their campaigns to ensure they maximise their sales.
The world is fast changing to become digital. This is the main reason as to why the Coca-Cola Company had to find an ad that will make the company and its customers move digital. The ‘share a coke’ ad enabled Coca-Cola customers to connect both online and offline. This strategy was implemented during the summer season of the year 2011. The main reason is that the summer season, as there is an increase in sales for soft drinks. For Coca-Cola, this is the major period when the company was making its largest sales so far. Another reason was because the introduction of other brands in the soft drinks market, brand extension and the blurring of other traditional categories had affected its sales (Applegate 2006).
This campaign comes immediately in replacement of the former branding of 150 popular UK names. It is all over in social media, like Facebook and twitter, as almost everybody has pictures with Coca-Cola names. All these pictures hand the tag “share a coke”. This campaign was meant to enable friends and other colleagues to be aware of named cans and share the drink of coke. The campaign was first trailed in Australia and the results were impressive. This was done in the year 2011 and received success among the young adults, leading to 7% increase in the consumption of the drink. The Facebook page likes grew by 39%, media earned over 18 million impressions and the traffics on Coca-Cola website increased tremendously. In the UK the same impressions were noted upon its release. The hit was noted globally as this drink was distributed on international level and the ad was launched all over the world too. The Coca-Cola Company also managed to move its buzz score from negative to positive as a result of this ad campaign. This is a clear indication of a good and successful ad as compared to the earlier ones (Beatty and Deoghan 2008).
The Coca-Cola company just like with other campaigns had a target population in place. It majorly focused on the age group between 18 – 25 years old. They also had an added advantage of the limited alienation. This is because the other age groups from 13 years up to 60 years were comfortably participating without any feeling of exclusion. The company capitalised their success on personalisation and uniqueness of their products. The affordability is also a factor to be counted for success. The campaign mostly was limited to 150 names which were used in the branding of the bottles (Coca-Cola 2013).
It is in human nature to want something that is unique and is rather personal. The fact that coke is just a drink does not exclude it from this fact. Consumers assume that brands personalising their contents to be unique and they are geared towards developing a good relationship with these brands. A study by Intel HQ shows that more than half of the Britain’s social media users are publicising their personal information in order for the contents to be personalised. During the 2011 Christmas season, the Coca-Cola Company allowed its customers to tweet their messages and they displayed those messages (Houpt 2011).
There are also user-generated contents. This is a rising trend which has been majorly applied in the campaign by the Coca-Cola Company. It also incorporates offline elements. It creates both tangible personalised items, as well as encourages the users to share them online. An example is the dream-case phenomena. The personalised campaign has encouraged a large number of customers to purchase and to share their experiences, making brand more popular. The purchase and sharing is done both in the real and the virtual worlds. It improves the brand perception, and incorporates advertisement and social media in influencing the consumer’s experiences. There are various printing methods used in ‘share a coke’ ad campaign. This ad campaign allows the customers to order their very own coke with their personalised labels. For example, their names are printed on the bottles instead of the original names of the drinks. This is done through the Facebook apps within the process of ordering. This was also accelerated by the company introducing the same drink with different names into the market (Houpt 2011).
The main idea behind ‘share a coke’ was to ensure that Australians were united by sharing a Coca-Cola beverage. This means they were to get together with the drink of coke. It used a more personal approach to bringing people together. This was done by sparking conversations instead of asking for the first names. This means that people all over the world were to connect and share a coke in 2011. The company labelled the bottles with 150 different but popular names. This was meant to better the relationships between Australians and their friends, relatives and those they were not in touch with. This was meant to improve the connection between people (Gardiner 2012).
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The campaign also used varied platform of communications. It applied different platforms to as customers can share a coke with anyone they knew. People were also given tools to connect, find friends and relatives and share. The platforms included televisions, radios, social sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. This was used in order to allow people of various social groups to see ‘share a coke’ ad campaign. This was because most people in the majority of countries are from developing societies. The most platforms that can be easily accessed are the radios and the printed medias, like posters and booklets. The use of variety of advertisement means also helped attracting other age groups apart from the targeted 18-25 years (Gardiner 2012).
Another strategy in place was the creation of varied content. This is because human beings have a variety of likes and taste. Creation of a variety of contents ensured that most consumer’s needs and wants were catered for in one way or another. This was also targeted at ensuring that people had various means of engaging in the campaign, at different degrees and through varied contact points. This assures that the campaign was available to those who wanted to be involved as well as those who wanted to join in the fun (Gardier 2012).
The Coca-Cola Company has a listening ear to the customers. They paid attention to how the customers reacted to the campaign. The main goal of this campaign was to surprise, maintain and attract the customers, as well as make the conversation intense. By listening to the customers, their comments, complaints and compliments the Coca-Cola Company managed successful marketing campaign (Houpt 2011).
The general company sales were increased by 7% in the year 2011. The media coverage also increased by over 18 million impressions. The Coca-Cola website traffic also increased to 870% from 100%. The Facebook page of Coca-Cola grew by 39% as compared to other ads results. The other achievements also include people being able to order personalised drinks, the target group was large enough as expected, and also the sales increased tremendously. In addition, the company achieved its objective of ensuring people started talking about coke again. This was evident in the social media and other websites (Houpt 2011).
The results were overwhelming and had exceeded the expectations. The Australians turned up in millions to share coke either literally or virtually. The campaign managed to change the attitudes of various people towards coke. They had positive impressions of Coca-Cola and were motivated to embrace coke always (Houpt 2011).
In this campaign Coca-Cola Company employed Mark Ronson who is a London-based producer and a singer by the name Katie B. Other five Olympics were also included. They used their sports sounds to create a song. The campaign included a feature length documentary, TV commercials, the song as well as a series of digital/mobile apps known as “The Global Beat”. After all these investments, there were some impressive yields. There were 1220 subscribers to the channel, over 25 million video views, marvellous web impression and YouTube success. The Facebook impressions were roughly 39 million and the Twitter mentioning of the beat was 246, 000 times. The number of Coca-Cola Facebook page fans increased by over 1.5 million. The Twitter fans and followers of Coca-Cola also increased by 21,000 people (Echikson 2000).
As compared to the ‘move to the beat’ ad, ‘share a coke’ had major advantages. This is because the ‘share a coke’ campaign used various platforms, which included radios as well as the printed media. This enabled access of the campaign by all the societal level people, from rich to poor. Radio is the cheapest platform that is affordable to the majority of the citizens all over the world. This made the ‘share a coke’ ad have an added advantage (Houpt 2011).
‘Share a coke’ ad was all about people coming together, buying and sharing a drink. On the other hand, ‘move to the beat’ was just about people dancing to a specific tune. In comparison, the principle of sharing with friends and relatives engages more age groups as compared to dancing and listening to music. As opposed to ‘share a coke’ ad, the ‘move to the beat’ campaign was selective and exclusive to specific age groups. It was mostly meant for the youth, while ‘share a coke’ could make everyone comfortable while participating in the campaign (Houpt 2011).
In the ‘share a coke’ campaign, customer’s views, compliments and complaints were all put into consideration. This is as opposed to the ‘move to the beat’ ad. This increased the total number of buyers and drinkers of the Coca-Cola products. As a result, 2011 is regarded as the year of the best sales in the Coca-Cola Company. It had the highest number of sales as well as income in its history (Coca-Cola 2013).
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From the above discussion, the Coca-Cola Company has been using various ad campaigns to market its products. The number of previous ads had significantly high yields, but not as compared to when the company introduced the ‘share a coke’ ad campaign. Generally, the ‘share a coke’ campaign has been regarded as the most successful ad campaign ever invented by any company. It was fun to the customers, as they were allowed to give their personal preferences to be considered in the production. They also had chances to share out and connect with friends and relatives in the process. In addition, it is one of the best campaigns as it tended to incorporate almost all age groups. All in all, ‘share a coke’ ad campaign is the most successful campaign in the history of Coca-Cola as a company.
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