Coca-Cola ran a brilliant equity-building campaign and that’s really hard for a Pepsi person to say.
In the spirit of their long-standing campaigns of sharing Cokes – think back to Mean Joe Green and The Kid from 1979 – Coke flooded store shelves last summer with bottles saying ‘Share a Coke with____’ . Various pre-printed names graced the labels in bold white letters – Steven, Mike, John, Family, Mom, Emily, et al.
Coke made their “happiness” positioning real.
In the US where soda sales have declined, the campaign increased Coke’s talk value, strengthened its brand equity and importantly, drove commercial volume with incremental store inventory.
Now here’s my confession…..
Despite bleeding Pepsi blue, I love monogrammed stuff and I combed the stores hunting for a bottle with my name on it. I looked and looked and looked….. and shared a few photos of Cokes with friends along the way. I even saw my name on a billboard in Philly so I figured they made at least one.
Then I gave up.
After work one day in August, I had a taste for peanuts. I walked into the house to drop off my bag and asked if anyone wanted anything from the store. In true form, Allen asked for a soda. I walked to CVS, grabbed my snack and then went around the corner to the soda aisle. I scanned the shelf for the Diet Mountain Dew Allen wanted and since it had sold out, I looked up to grab a Diet Pepsi.
To my left, in the corner of my eye, I saw the deep sea of red Coke bottles and thought, ‘well, I wonder if it’s here.’ And to my utter surprise and sheer delight, there it was…