Annoying Social Campaign of the Week – ‘Share A Coke’ is back

by Stratton Craig

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Hi there! My name is Kady. It’s not particularly popular, as names go – in 2012, just 19 girls were given the same name. That is at least more than the three babies who had ‘Kady’ written down on their birth certificate back in 1997.
The rarity of my name has caused a lot of disappointments in my life. I never find it on novelty keyrings or mugs, predictive text on phones switches it to ‘lady’, and I’ve been mistaken for a Kayleigh or a Katie more times than I can count. With the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign returning this year to put 1,000 different names on Coca-Cola bottles, I thought I might finally be in luck.
In the thousand-strong list of names published on the Share a Coke’ website, you’ll find Aisling, Dio, Fozia, Maciej, Malgorzata, Syed and Syeda, Wai and Zainab. But not Kady.
You will also see all of the following: Kate, Katharine, Katherine, Kathrine, Kathryn, Katie, Katy, Kaylee, Kayleigh, Kayley, and Kaylie. Still no Kady.
I’ve always known that my name is unusual, but I wasn’t expecting it to be even more unusual than Wojciech. I also understand that it’s not commercially viable to try and put every single name in existence onto Coke labels – yet I hardly believe that bottles with Vijay or Sion on them are going to be flying off the shelves.
Campaigns like this are always interesting initially, as we rush to see whether we can finally find our name amongst the mass orders of Mum, Sis, Friends and Dave. For those who find their moniker emblazoned over a Cherry Coke, it’s a moment of crowning glory. Those left disappointed, picking through the Tori and Leo bottles sadly still populating the shelf, wonder why they ever bothered.
Named Coke bottles are also being sold in Japan, with first and last names printed on labels. Pairs of bottles that make up celebrity names are appearing on auction sites and selling for frankly absurd amounts.
From a copywriter’s perspective, whacking someone’s name on a product as a custom limited edition gimmick is something of the easy way out. I’m trying not to let my personal name-based disappointment show through here, but it’s a simple novelty that wears off quickly. The product itself inside the bottle isn’t any different.
Thinking about it a bit more, though, I do think it’s an appropriate ‘Coke’ campaign in terms of their tone of voice and brand style. We’ve also recently seen a concept set of attachments to replace caps, and a new bottle design that can only be opened with another bottle. Customisation is the key theme – or, more accurately, personalisation. Coca-Cola is one of the most prolific and recognised brands in the world, so making each bottle that bit more individual keeps the brand image fresh.
Did you find your name on a Coke bottle? Take a smug picture and tweet it to us.
Not on the list? Join the club – and tell us just how disgruntled you are.

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