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Simply Summer Social Awards Contestant #3: @CocaCola’s #ShareACoke Campaign

Simply-Summer-Awards-BlogWhich brands won summer 2014 on social? You get to choose. 

From now until September 24, we’ll be blogging about five brand’s killer summer campaigns, according to four social influencers and our very own CEO.

You can vote by clicking the button at the end of each blog post, which will send a Tweet detailing your choice from your Twitter handle. We’ll use those Tweets and our software to keep track of your votes.

Votes will be tallied in real time right here, so you can check in on the award standings whenever your heart desires. There’s no limit to the amount of brands you can vote for, so be sure to check in with the blog regularly to see who’s being featured and what #winning looks like.

View Results Here

@CocaCola’s #ShareACoke Campaign


We tapped Rebekah Radice — social media strategist par excellence, Chief Experience Officer of Imagine WOW, a digital marketing agency, and author of How to Use Social Media to Virtually Crush the Competition to give us her favorite social campaign of summer. For Radice, it was no contest:

“Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign used YouTube to encourage fans to get out and find a bottle with their name. The campaign in both its reach and ability to drive massive fan interaction is brilliant and innovative.” 

What It Is

This summer, from June through August, people got personal with their bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero.

Ahem, what I mean to say is, in the summer of 2014, Coke replaced its logos on 20-oz. bottles with the 250 most popular first names among American teens and Millennials.

The “Share a Coke” campaign first launched in Australia in 2011 and has since expanded to more than fifty countries, inviting fans to find their names or the names of people special to them or even endearments like Buddy and Mom, on bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero across the U.S.

Fans had the opportunity to get even more heavily involved by visiting to personalize virtual bottles and share them with friends via Facebook, tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Using the #ShareaCoke hashtag, consumers shared their stories and photos for the chance to be featured on interactive Coke billboards across the country. Users with the free Coca-Cola Freestyle mobile app were encourage to scan a QR code on the fountain dispenser’s touch screen and send a friend a coupon for a $1 off a 20-oz. Coke.

The successful, multi-platform social campaign was accompanied by a 500-stop, cross-country “Share a Coke” tour with traveling kiosks for customizing Coca-Cola mini cans for themselves and those near and dear to them.


Coca-Cola did a fantastic job of focusing almost all their summer social media efforts around the #ShareaCoke campaign, making the message loud and clear and avoiding any dilution of the campaign’s effect.

As The Wall Street Journal reportedthere were more than 125,000 posts about the campaign across all social channels from June 2 through July 14, with 96% of consumer sentiment toward the campaign being either positive or neutral. That’s quite a feat. Here’s how it breaks down channel-by-channel. 

On Instagram 

Coca-Cola’s campaign was nowhere more popular than on Instagram. The brand also drove a lot of engagement from their own account, continuing to remind people of the closeness and fun that comes when you #shareacoke. Here’s what the brand’s posts and engagement looked like over the course of the campaign.

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Source: Simply Measured Report. Try it for free here.

As you can see, the neon green engagement line closely follows and even surpasses number of brand posts. That’s the sign of success.

Coca-Cola’s most engaging Instagram post of the campaign was this one, with 19,894 in total engagement across all channels:

I don’t know about you, but I could watch this sleek, mesmerizing video over and over again.

On Twitter 

Between May 20 and September 16, there were more than 340,000 mentions of #ShareaCoke on Twitter. The chart below shows two serious spikes in use of the hashtag on July 13 and July 29.

Source: Simply Measured

July 13’s spike was derived largely from this Tweet:

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.07.53 AM#GGV stands for Gandang Gabi, Vice!, a Philippine comedy variety show and talk show hosted by stand-up comedian Vice Ganda. “Ponies” is a term of endearment that Ganda has used for his fans and fans of the show. This is a perfect example of how #ShareaCoke’s campaign fostered, highlighted, and encouraged closeness between already-existing communities on social media.

July 29’s spike can be attributed to Tweets about this YouTube video:

#ShareaCoke partnered with teen YouTube celeb Cameron Dallas, who boasts almost 3 million subscribers, to connect more closely to millennials — and boy, did it work.

On Facebook 

The #ShareaCoke campaign won on Facebook with videos and tons of fan engagement. Take, for example, this winning post, which received 50,964 in total engagement:

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 10.58.15 AMCoca-Cola is clearly adhering to the cardinal rule of social media: puppy + product = goes viral.

The Bottom Line 

The #ShareaCoke campaign drove a lot of activity initially instigated by Coca-Cola but, at a certain point, took on a life of its own. The hashtag got adopted by other communities, benefited from killer brand-created content across all its social channels, and is a wonderful example of how a social campaign concept doesn’t have to be complicated to become ultra-successful. A campaign that goes strong for three months, and counting? We’ll drink to that. 

Vote for the #ShareaCoke Campaign!

Want to learn more about measuring the success of your own cross-channel campaign? Make haste. Download our new whitepaper The Five Essentials of Cross-Channel Social Media Measurement today.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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