I know I may seem a little late with this “Share a Coke” blog as it’s been going for a couple of weeks, but if I’m honest the reason I haven’t wrote one already is because I have read so many other blogs on this topic and I thought everything had been covered. But after having a conversation about these bottles with pretty much everyone I know, I thought I had to have my say!!
Just a brief explanation for those who may not know what I’m rambling on about: Coke have replaced their iconic brand name with the top 150 most popular names in the UK. The chosen names are on individual 500ml and 375ml bottles of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero.
At first I thought it was a great idea, seeing people going crazy in shops searching for a particular named Coke. I also saw loads of people complaining on Facebook or Twitter that they wanted a Coke with their name on. Then I saw the people who had managed to successfully buy or receive a Coke with their name on, post their photos on to Facebook. Such as my friend, Lisa, who was bought this bottle of Coke Zero as a gift:
Before this genius marketing technique it is unlikely that people would have thought “Lisa (or whoever) would really like a Coke Zero, I’ll buy it for her” whilst out shopping. Usually you would just purchase this size bottle if you wanted a quick drink when you were out and about, so in terms of marketing I thought Coke had done a fantastic job with everyone getting excited and wanting to purchase bottles so they could share with their friends and family.
I did a bit of research (MAJOR scientific here..) I asked a whopping 6 people what made them want a bottle of coke with their name on. They said it was just because of the novelty, the quirkiness, a bit of fun and because everyone else was showing off their new and personal Coke they wanted to join in too, even if they weren’t big Coke drinkers! Some people said that they wouldn’t go out purposely looking for a Coke with their name on, but if they were choosing a drink and couldn’t decide, they may be influenced to buy a Coke instead of something else if they saw their name. And this is exactly it, people have ALWAYS loved name gifts (mugs, keyrings, signs for your bedroom door etc) and the reason for this is because you get the feeling of belonging, ownership and pride when you own something like this.
But it was today when things changed. I was at uni doing some work when my friend, Dave, came and joined me. He had just come from Asda and had a bottle of Coke with him.. I picked up the Coke thinking “he’s bound to have Dave on it”.. when I was surprised to see this:
MICHAEL? Who is Michael? This shocked me that he would have chosen “Michael” when I knew I had seen “Dave” on the Coke bottles.
Dave told me he was going to buy a Coke regardless, as he would usually buy Coke anyway, but when he got to the stall he couldn’t help but become frustrated that he couldn’t see his name. He said he didn’t want to look stupid shifting through all the bottles to find his name, so he picked up the first one that was “similar”. He said there were lots of bottles at the front with girls’ names on.. and he would feel silly buying a bottle with a girl’s name. So he went for the next best thing.
Another thing I came across when talking to people about this, is that some people can find this whole name thing a bit embarrassing and actually purposely go out of their way to buy a Pepsi or some other alternative to Coke to avoid looking like they had fallen for this marketing trick.
So Coke may be encouraging people who don’t usually drink Coke to buy more bottles, but are they risking losing regular Coke users by frustrating and even embarrassing them???
But overall… despite it may be frustrating and a little embarrassing for some shoppers, I still think it’s a great idea and it’s just a bit of fun for the majority of consumers! And just in case you were wanting to buy me a bottle of Coke, unsurprisingly “Sinae” isn’t on the bottles. You’ll have to wait until the summer when Coke are going to do personalised bottles.. or just resort to buying me chocolate with my name on instead 😉