For the last five summers, “Share a Coke” has become a seasonal pastime – along with baseball games, backyard barbecues and family reunions – as Americans seek out bottles with their names or the names of friends and loved ones.
And every year since 2014, Share a Coke has introduced new innovations and surprise-and-delight experiences to keep fans coming back – from adding more brands and names on more packages (including tie-ins with passion points like NCAA March Madness and the FIFA World Cup), to launching an e-Commerce site (ShareaCoke.com) where fans can order custom glass bottles, to introducing a first-ever sticker label, to finding fun ways to integrate music into the campaign.
“The insight behind Share a Coke hasn’t changed,” said Saxon Seay,
She added, “When Share a Coke launched in the U.S., we had to really educate people that they could find and share names across our key packages. Discovery was our main message. But as people have become more aware of Share a Coke – and anticipated the campaign’s return each summer – they’ve asked us to bring new news to the program.”
That means expanding on fan-favorite features from the prior year, such as patriotic packaging first introduced in 2016 to support Coke’s partnership with the USO.
“Each year when we look at evolving Share a Coke, we want to deliver an amazing summer program. At the end of the day, we continue to build on the very successful foundation we have in Share a Coke. Fans repeatedly tell us and demonstrate in social that finding the names of their friends and family members and sharing a Coke and a moment with them is something really special and keeps them coming back.”
Here’s a look at how the campaign has continued to evolve and expand:
2014: Importing a Winning Idea from ‘Down Under’
Share a Coke – which was first introduced in Australia in 2011 – made its U.S. debut in 2014. In that first year, Coke swapped out logos on 20-oz. bottles of
Fans could visit www.ShareaCoke.com to personalize virtual bottles and share them with friends on social media. Fans also used the #ShareaCoke hashtag to share stories and photos for the chance to be featured on Coke billboards across the country.
A 500-stop, cross-country “Share a Coke” tour featured traveling kiosks where fans could customize a Coke mini can for themselves and a second can for someone special. Consumers could send a friend an actual Coke via Twitter, too. Learn more.
2015: More Names, More Packs and More Ways to Share
Year two of the campaign featured four times as many names (1,000) as the prior year, plus more packages and ways to share. Share a Coke kicked off a few weeks earlier to hit more spring and summer occasions and celebratory moments – from Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, to proms and graduations, to weddings and family reunions.
Changes were inspired by creative fans who made Share a Coke their own in 2014 – from wedding proposals, to baby announcements to college sendoffs. Bottles featured “Mom”, “Dad”, “Grad”, “Soulmate” “Hero” and more occasion-specific nicknames, and multi-serve packs sported “Class of 2015”, “Team” and “Family”.
ShareaCoke.com became an e-Commerce site, adding a degree of customization by allowing people to order personalized 8-oz. glass contour bottles at ShareaCoke.com.
Aluminum bottles and emoticon-sporting mini cans joined the “Share a Coke” packaging mix, and
The Share a Coke experiential tour gave away more than 1 million customized
2016: ‘Share a Coke and a Song’
Share a Coke sung a slightly different tune in its third year by trading out first names for song lyrics on packages of
Fans could use the Shazam mobile app to scan lyrics on specially marked Share a Coke 20-oz. bottles and signage, then record a digital lip-sync video to share on social media with the hashtag #ShareaCoke.
A summer-long experiential tour of major music events kicked off at the 2016 NCAA March Madness Music Festival in Houston with a performance from international pop star and
Customized Diet Coke and Coke Zero packaging debuted in the ShareaCoke.com store alongside
2017: Share an ‘Ice-Cold’ Coke
The fourth iteration of Share a Coke reminded fans that nothing beats the summer heat like an ice-cold, delicious
Music made its way back into the campaign, too. Fans could visit ShareaCoke.com, type their name into the search bar, and listen to an 18 to 20-second jingle featuring their name. For those whose names weren’t included, the word “Sorry” appeared, but not without a cheeky jingle of its own.
Nearly 200 last names were included for the first time, too Learn more.
2018: More than Names
An ice-cold Coke tastes best when shared together with friends, family and even strangers. That’s the inclusive message behind Share a Coke 2018.
“This year, we’re focusing on the role
Several innovations will reward fans for the simple act of sharing. For the first time, Share a Coke name labels on 20-oz. Coke bottles are stickers. Fans can peel them off to reveal
This year also marks the premiere of the Share Chair, an oversized armchair that doubles as a “shareable” vending machine. When two people sit together, personalized mini cans of
In addition to more than 1,100 first and last names on bottles of
More on Journey
- View our 2016 Sustainability Report
- Download our 2016 Sustainability Report (PDF)
- Subscribe to The Circular sustainability newsletter
- Video: 2016 Sustainability Highlights
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