In a new digital docuseries titled “One Last Summer”, Coca-Cola tags along with a group of friends in Plainfield, Illinois, as they share their last few months together before heading off to college.

Over the course of four 10-minute episodes – which are rolling out on the Coca-Cola YouTube channel in the coming weeks – Coca-Cola plays a key role in the teens’ hangouts, heart-to-heart chats and new adventures.

The brand’s first foray into longform reality TV was led by the Coca-Cola North America Social Center, which manages social media, content and media buying for 10 brands including Coca-Cola. “One Last Summer” supports the 2018 edition of the “Share a Coke” campaign, now in its fifth year in the U.S.

“We’re constantly exploring new and different ways to bring the ‘Share a Coke’ idea to life in social media,” said Katie O’Gorman, director, Social Center. “Most conversation about the campaign will always focus on finding your name on a Coke bottle, but last summer we saw more fans – especially teens – posting about experiences shared with friends over a Coke. So we saw the opportunity to partner with real-life teens and show how Coke brings them together and is a natural part of important moments in their lives.”

Coke’s Social Center, in partnership with Havas, tapped Brooklyn-based Punched in the Head Productions to develop and shoot the series. 

“What was most important to us was finding a diverse, relatable group of teens so viewers across the U.S. could relate to the circumstances they face at this point in their lives,” O’Gorman said. “And it was also important that they live the Coke values.”

The brand’s role is purposefully subtle and organic. “Going in, we said we would not steer the storyline,” O’Gorman said. “We wanted the plot – and Coke’s presence – to unfold naturally. We made sure Coca-Cola was always available, but it was never forced. Everything was super authentic.”

The launch of “One Last Summer” comes as the popularity of longer-form branded videos continues to grow. “This is something we’ve never done before, so it’s definitely a test,” O’Gorman said. “We’re always looking to experiment and learn.”

Coke will support the docuseries through paid social posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

We’ll post a new episode here each week. We invite you to tune in, kick back and #ShareaCoke and much more with friends and family in the final weeks of summer.

Episode 1: 'Madison'

Episode 2: 'RJ'

Episode 3: 'V'