The Share a Coke story
A marketing campaign that made a name for itself
During the summers of 2013 and 2014, we swapped our iconic logo with your name, so you could Share a Coke with the people who matter to you most.
We selected the UK’s most popular names and printed them on our labels, and made even more available online. It sparked the nation into a sharing frenzy, and quickly became one of our most successful marketing campaigns. We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who’ve picked up our personalised bottles and cans and used them to create and share stories, selfies and special moments with us.
Share a Coke 2014 by numbers
- Over a thousand names on our bottles
- 998 million impressions on Twitter
- 235,000 tweets from 111,000 fans using the #ShareaCoke hashtag
- More than 150 million personalised bottles sold
- Over 730,000 glass bottles personalised via the e-commerce store
- 17,000 virtual name bottles shared online across Europe
- 65 experiential stops on the Share a Coke tour
“Share a Coke is about taking our global brand and making it personal to our consumers, giving them the chance to Share a personalised Coke with friends or loved ones and creating special moments of happiness, and memories. In 2014, we were able to deliver many more moments of happiness by giving everyone the chance to share with over 1,000 names on shelf and over 500,000 names available through the Share a Coke online store. The reaction to our campaign has been fantastic to watch and be part of.” Chris Ross, Senior Brand Activation Manager
Where did the idea come from?
The idea originated from our offices in Sydney in 2011, where two Brits – Marketing Director Lucie Austin and Creative Excellence Lead Jeremy Rudge – were planning Coca‑Cola’s summer campaign.
After being presented with a standout visual – a wall of Coca‑Cola cans stacked horizontally, each with different names in the place of the famous Coca‑Cola logo – they knew they’d found a truly shareable idea that would make headlines and capture the Australian public’s attention.
Crikey! That summer, more than 250 million named bottles and cans were sold in a nation of just under 23 million people.
Lucie said, “The campaign capitalised on the global trend of self-expression and sharing, but in an emotional way. Coke is big enough to pull off an idea like this, which speaks to the iconic nature of the brand. Who would want their name on a brand unless it was as iconic as Coke?"
Five things you didn’t know about Share a Coke
- During the planning phase, the campaign was known internally as ‘Project Connect’
- A new font called ‘You’, inspired by the Coca‑Cola logo, was created for the names
- Share a Coke picked up seven awards at the 2012 Cannes Lions festival
- More than 70 countries have launched the campaign
- The idea came from a 151-word brief
Read the full interview with Lucie and Jeremy.
How did we Share a Coke in Great Britain?
In April 2013 we released the first 150 names on bottles. We sent a select few as gifts to celebrities and then let the public discover them in-store for themselves, so they could be first to break the news on social media.
Within six months of launching, there were 330 million impressions on Twitter, with nearly 170,000 tweets from 160,000 fans. #ShareaCoke was trending and became a hot topic of conversation within popular culture, which led us to release a hundred more names and use our creative to congratulate Wills and Kate on the birth of Prince George.
We also used the campaign to make our fans famous and asked them who they’d most like to share a Coke with, before revealing their messages up in lights on our iconic sign in Piccadilly Circus.
To make sure everyone had the chance to get involved, we took Share a Coke on tour so the entire nation could grab a personalised bottle. For those who couldn’t clink bottles with their loved ones in person, we created a Facebook app so they could share a virtual Coke instead.
In 2014 we brought Share a Coke back for another summer, and replaced our logo with over 1,000 names to give people even more opportunities to surprise friends and family. We also introduced the public to Bobby the dog, who starred in our advert, and held a vote on the Coca‑Cola Facebook page to find 50 of the nation’s most popular names to appear on our posters.
For the first time, people could personalise a glass Coca‑Cola Contour Bottle with their choice of thousands of names from the Share a Coke online shop. It soon had the whole world talking when a man named Donnie used his bottles to propose to his girlfriend! Their happy announcement received more than one million likes on Facebook within 48 hours.
Share a Coke has since been launched in multiple markets around the world, each with their own unique and personal stories to tell. Thank you, everyone, for sharing a Coke!