Coca-Cola ‘Share a Coke’ campaign uses digital to shake up store sales

Coca-Cola used a ranged of digital marketing technologies to drive customers online and to stores during its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, in which the company switched its famous logo for customers’ names.

Coca-Cola Enterprises – the bottling company behind the campaign – used a combination of social media, text messaging and online marketing to maximise the impact of the campaigns which ran during the summer of 2013 and 2014.

Speaking at eCommerce Expo in London this week, David Martin, European director for online at Coca-Cola Enterprises, said activating campaigns online is a “massively growing challenge".

As part of the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, Coca-Cola Enterprises used its website to extend the experience from choosing a bottle in store, right through to online. Customers were presented with the chance to win their own name on a glass bottle, as well as being able to purchase this through a dedicated eCommerce site as well.

Martin said it was interesting to learn how many names were needed to get 99% country coverage – 299,000 in the UK, compared to 24,000 in France. “It was an incredibly successful add-on to the brand programme and an activation tool to drives sales,” he explained. “But we’re always keen to link the digital space to the store.”

The campaign also engaged with customers at a local level by offering a ‘Share a Coke Tour’ at local Tesco branches. The tour allowed customers to come into a participating store to see their personalised bottles being produced, which Martin said maximised impact and drove footfall.

Coca-Cola worked with Tesco to identify local loyalty card users who were lapse coke shoppers, while using Facebook to encourage customers to visit the store on the day. In addition it sent out geo-location text messages to shoppers who were in the vicinity of the store.

“It was an incredibly successful piece of activation on a local level with real scalability,” he said. “And the uplift in terms of sales was nearly 50%. Using digital to link back what you’re physically doing in a store is key to success.”

Overall, the 2014 European ‘Share a Coke’ campaign led to 998 million impressions on Twitter, 235,000 tweets from 111,000 fans using the #ShareaCoke hastag, as well as the sale of over 150 million personalised bottles – 730,000 of which were personalised via the eCommerce store.

In fact, Martin noted how creative the public were with their personalisations. He pointed to one example of a Facebook post which went viral after a man used six personalised bottles to propose to his girlfriend.

This post received over a million likes in 48 hours, 45,000 shares and 15,000 comments, while Coca-Cola Enterprises saw its daily orders via its eCommerce site increase by over 50%.

“It’s about the right time and the right place, but it is not always one you create, but it’s one that someone else creates as well,” he said.