BY VICTOR ADAR
How cool would it be to have your name on a bottle of Coke? Imagine the feeling when a well-known personality recognises you by name in the middle of a crowd of people! Well, that is precisely what Coca-Cola is giving its consumers with the launch of its new ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.
The campaign gives Coca-Cola consumers the opportunity to swap the iconic Coca-Cola logo with personal names of their friends, relatives and family. The company has printed over 200 of the most common names among Kenyan teenagers across its full brand portfolio.
In the lead up to the launch of the new campaign, Coca-Cola teased key teen influencers mainly in the media and entertainment industry along other influential national and corporate leaders with branded cans of Coke bearing their names as a precursor to what will be a frenzied brand campaign.
At the media launch event, during which journalists, bloggers and social media big names were celebrated, each one was presented with a can of Coke bearing their names as they registered for the press conference. Company officials said they were simply extending the festive spirit of sharing for the next four months.
“’Share a Coke’ gives our consumers that special, personal experience and a unique opportunity to connect and share their personalised Coke with the people who matter most to them – in person, or virtually. Through this campaign, we will continue spreading the optimism and happiness that our brand stands for in homes, at social events, in schools, villages, bars and restaurants as we bring people together,” said Nick Mruttu, Coca-Cola Kenya Country Manager.
The Share a Coke campaign, although targeted mainly at teenagers, gives all Coke consumers the opportunity to decide the people in their lives whom they wish to share their favourite drink with by getting their names printed on the cans on-demand.
The initial 200 most commonly used names in Kenya amongst teens such as Manu for Emmanuel, Chebi for Chebet or Oti for Otieno set the trend for consumers.
Coca-Cola Kenya Marketing Manager Mona Karingi says the company will roll out experiential and social media marketing campaigns that will allow consumers to choose the names they want to see printed in real-time experientially or virtually through on-line platforms. Those with special occasions such as weddings and anniversaries can have all their entourage toast to a personalised Coca-Cola.
“Coca-Cola is a brand to be enjoyed by all in equal measure. We have, therefore, ensured that every Kenyan has a chance to decide whom they want to share a Coke with,” she said.
The Coke products with the customised names are available in major retail outlets and in dukas or kiosks, hotels and restaurants all over the country. In addition, Ms Karingi said the campaign will incorporate popular sharing occasions such as Easter or Weekends where consumers typically have an opportunity to derive personal connections with the people they love.
The company will leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as well as other interactive advertising platforms for consumers to not only order for the customised names of their choice but also share messages, photos or videos of their #ShareACokeKe memorable moments.
Bill Gray, Coca-Cola’s Senior Franchise Marketing Manager for East Africa, said the company listens keenly to the trends the consumer set in designing the campaigns. “Our consumers are the engines of social change that inform our marketing.”
Coca-Cola, the World’s most consumed non-alcoholic beverage and the runaway market leader in Kenya, is well known for breakthrough marketing campaigns and marketing innovations. In the recent past it has launched highly successful campaigns such as the Billion Reasons to Believe Coke Side of Life, and Brrrrrr, among others, which have been very well received in Kenya.