A: Spell their name wrong.
In 2010, Coca Cola launched ‘Share-a-Coke’ in Australia. A simple but immensely effective campaign, which saw supermarket shelves become war zones and left hipsters crying into their Pepsi when they couldn’t find Delilah, Hudson or Ike on bottles of their daily fix of Diet Coke.
Those lucky 250 people with their straight-down-the-line names took photos of their cans and bottles. They tweeted. They Instagrammed. They Facebooked. They Reddited. They did it all. Boasting that they had a Coke with their name on. Social sharing went through the roof.
Annoyed that Colin wasn’t a hipster or mainstream name, I started unfollowing Jessica, Laura, Anthony, David, Luke and Josh. Everything was right with the world again.
Coca Cola saw a 2.9% revenue increase YoY for actually removing their branding and swapping it with a name. Genius and unrepeatable, right?
Since the roll out of this campaign by Coca Cola, advertising agencies with FMCG clients have been awash with endless amounts of brainstorming and full waste paper bins trying to answer the question “How do we better that?” and almost 100% percent of the time arriving to the same conclusion. We can’t.
But little did we know, right under our noses, someone else took the concept. Flipped it on its head and made it available to everyone. Not just Jessica, Laura, Anthony, David, Luke and Josh; but Colin as well.
You know who I mean. Starbucks.
They’ll write your actual name on your cup. Caffeine fix sorted. Coke not required. But what’s shareable about that? Some guy with tremendous facial hair writing your name on a takeaway cup. I can do that myself.
But, you get your cup from said bearded fellow and…WAIT….who the hell is Collion?
I’d just got off a flight at JFK and, not in the mood to correct our friend, I took away my cup, took a photograph and tweeted it. Immediately. The tweet probably included an insult about this clearly uneducated chap. In the weeks and months that followed I started seeing other Facebook, Twitter, Instagram photos with other people’s misspelled names on their Starbucks cups.
“Hey. #Starbucks guy. How can you spell Michael wrong? #Mikhal #NoFilter”.
Then I saw this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPbrlNsMTg4&feature=youtu.be
This video is a spoof, but think about it a bit. This happens so often it can’t be completely accidental. As you can imagine Starbucks will neither confirm nor deny whether this is a true representation of their plans when they decided to go with the personalised cups. But being in a creative and digital-focussed career I guess we’d all like to think this was some genius planning to drive social sharing.
So, how do you beat an idea like Share a Coke? Ask Starbucks.
PS. To go with my Collion. I have a Collin and a Carl.
PPS. I ordered a Share a Coke with my name on online.
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