With Coca-Cola’s newest advertising campaign, Share a Coke, the company quickly realized it could effectively kill two birds with one stone.

By personalizing labels with common names, the company fabricated a personal connection with its client. By throwing the #ShareaCoke hashtag on the campaign, it prompted its consumers to do the legwork for them.

A quick search around InstagramFacebook and Twitter will show just how many people have turned a simple idea into a successful, hands-off viral marketing campaign.

Marketing Week tracked the success of the campaign last year. Here are the numbers:

Coca-Cola’s value sales increased 4.93 per cent year on year to £765 million in the 52 weeks to 17 August, according to IRI Worldwide data. Sales of all colas in the UK grew 2.75 per cent, all carbonates 3.11 per cent and the total soft drinks market’s value sales increased 2.36 per cent in the period.

Volume sales for the Coca-Cola brand grew 3.88 per cent, apparently stealing share from all carbonates, which marked a 0.44 per cent decrease in volume during the 52-week period, IRI Worldwide says. The total soft drinks market’s volume sales grew just 0.98 per cent.

Meanwhile, consumer sentiment towards the Coca-Cola brand appears to have shifted towards the positive end of the scale during the campaign.

Coca-Cola’s Index score – YouGov BrandIndex’s average of perception measures including impression, quality, value, reputation, satisfaction and recommendation – rose from 9.6 on the first day of the campaign (30 April) to 12.4 on 10 September.

The brand’s “Buzz” score – BrandIndex’s measure of the positive and negative things said about the brand – is up slightly from -1.1 as the campaign began to 0.1 on 10 September, although its score rose to 6.7 during the peak of the campaign mid-summer.


Last year, the company printed 150 different names on its products and received backlash from the Arab community since no Arabic names were used. Still, the company succeeded at increasing sales, gaining market share, and improving the brand’s image. This year, Coke printed over 1,000 different names on the bottles and likely atoned for its oversight. When this campaign ends, the numbers will likely be even better than last year.