How VERSA Used One Voice Experience To ‘Share a Coke’ With Millions
A campaign with history
In 2011, Coca-Cola Australia, with the help of creative agency Ogilvy, launched an advertising campaign that would send ripples around the world for the next 10 years. The idea was simple; print 150 of the most popular names in Australia on Coke bottles and send them into the wild.
Lucie Austin, then Marketing Director for Coca-Cola South Pacific, stated that this was the "first time in its 125-year history that Coca-Cola has made such a major change to its packaging and the limited edition bottles are expected to fly off shelves as people search for their friend’s names.” She was right. Coca-Cola became more than a household name, as household names began appearing on bottles of Coca-Cola as well.
Bringing ‘Share a Coke’ into 2020
The power of the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign lies in how deeply personal, and powerful, names are. The original campaign was born from the idea that Coca-Cola had the ability to give this power to the people. As the number of people that call Australia home has grown over the last 10 years, so has the definition of what it means to be Australian. As a nation with an ever-growing pool of cultural wealth, ‘150 of the most popular names in Australia’ simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Defining a strategy in conjunction with both Amazon and Coke helped VERSA build an experience that would be culturally inclusive, delight customers, and also get Australia talking.
To help build the campaign, the experience had 3 key moments. Pre, during & post. A series of messages were presented to users who wanted to interact with the experience before the campaign started.
Messaging changed during the period to keep the Alexa skill feeling fresh for users who had already engaged with the experience. Post-campaign, the skill utilised and fed back interesting data-based insights gained from the users around the most popular names people gave their personalised Cokes.
Utilising voice in the marketing mix let Australia, and this time all of Australia, start a conversation by sharing a Coke with those closest to them. And with Alexa.
The science behind it
The consumer-facing mechanics of the skill create a fluid, easy to navigate experience for the user. A user only needed to give a mobile number via voice, which then activated a text message, talking to Coca-Cola’s existing web infrastructure to make inputting details easier.
Once the user activated the Alexa skill, they were asked if they’d like to share a Coke, before proving their mobile details. Users received a unique URL that took them through to to the ‘Share a Coke’ web store. The user could then personalise their bottle of Coke and check out with a cart total of $0, receiving their unique Coke delivered to their door.
The campaign was initially intended to run for one week, with an allocated number of coupons to last the full 7-day promotional period. However, due to an integrated PR, Social & OOH campaign, all available coupons were snatched up within a few hours.
The following day, twice the amount of initial coupons had already been claimed, and by 9 pm every single voucher had been distributed.
Demand for the experience was so great that even after bolstering the initial amount of available coupons by 300%, more than 800 unique users still missed out receiving a free Coke.
This activation did more than increase awareness and drive the purchase of free Cokes, it helped increased the amount of full-price personalised Cokes being sold as well.
Benefits beyond free cokes
A strategic play was created to give consumers rewards beyond free personalised cokes. Consumers who purchased a Coke were prompted with a discounted offer for a $29 (half price) Amazon Echo Dot.
As part of VERSA’s working relationship with Amazon, the experience was able to utilise the utterance “Alexa, let’s share a Coke”, bypassing the typical invocation and utterance structure and adding a bespoke process to the activation. The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign wasn’t simply plugged into an Amazon platform, it was designed to bring Amazon into the mix in a way that directly benefitted the Share a Coke customer.
VoiceUI, notes “there is a shift in the attention from using our eyes to see things, into using our ears to hear things. This means that brands need to be thinking about how they sound and how they are going to interact with their potential clients or current clients”.
Locally and globally, voice and conversational tools are becoming more and more prevalent in marketing and advertising campaigns. Voicebot.ai notes that “voice assistants are becoming just another channel, like social media, to boost awareness and interest in a product.”
They provide the opportunity to not just hear a brand’s voice but interact with it, enabling a brand to capitalise on sonic brand building like never before.
Amplify your brand with Voice
VERSA and Amazon’s Alexa shared a Coke with Australia via their smart speakers. The ‘Share a Coke’ skill is a leading example of how a brand campaign can be elevated and launched via voice. Voice provides an opportunity for brands to expand beyond the traditional marketing mix and reach their audience in ways that surprise, delight, and ultimately, work.