Brand storytelling like a boss: Coca-Cola’s marketing strategies

share a coke

Remember when the Coca-Cola Company introduced their Share A Coke campaign in which 150 of Australia’s most popular names were printed on millions of bottles of ‘Coke’ distributed across the country? Do you know why they did this?

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a couple of months after I discovered the videos in which the Coca-Cola Company explains their marketing strategies and what’s making them work for the mega brand. I’ve placed the videos at the end of this post. But first, here’s why I think the Coca-Cola Company is one mega brand to watch for creativity and innovation.

The Share A Coke campaign was launched on October 1st, 2011 and was an innovative way for Coca-Cola to use brand storytelling (or marketing storytelling) to help the giant reach that 50% of Australian teenagers and young adults who claimed they had never tasted a ‘Coke’ before. They felt it was time to¬†get ‘personal’ and introduce the drink into the lives of those who have never tasted Coke or hadn’t tasted it in a while. ¬†It was definitely pure marketing genius. Have a look here on a recap at¬†Ogilvy Australia and Campaign Brief.

Oh! How I got sucked in!

When Coca-Cola launched the campaign, it didn’t have to ‘loudly’ promote it. I saw it casually pop into my Facebook News Feed because a friend had shared a post from the brand. I clicked because I thought

Wow, my name on a Coke bottle even if I don’t drink Coke often enough to call myself their customer? That’ll be good for selfies and other creative photo amateur tricks!

And so I had a go but… too bad for Coke, they didn’t have my name!!

They surely had my friend Anna’s name as that’s a popular name. So I tested with hers instead. Check it out below what I captured back then.


The Coca-Cola Company let consumers do what consumers do best: share the campaign with friends, get involved (whether directly or just as an intrigued content sharer), send in their names to get printed, share their photos and so on. A simple but clever campaign, it developed a life of its own, swept across the web, blew up all over Facebook and it even attracted those who were not the main target (guilty as hell over here), including the older generations and non-drinkers.

It’s no surprise then that the Coca-Cola Company was awarded Creative Marketer of The Year in 2013 (plus 20 additional Cannes Lions) at¬†Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. These awards are the world‚Äôs number one celebration of creative excellence in brand communications.

Brand storytelling like a boss

How does the Coca-Cola Company come up with these innovative marketing campaigns?

In the following two videos, the Coca-Cola Company introduces Content 2020, in which they talk about their strategies and plans for the future.  These are great tools for anyone seeking to learn from some of the best strategists, those who designed groundbreaking marketing campaigns, whether or not you love or hate their products.

You’ll get to see where brand storytelling fits in and how consumers play a role in making it work.

What else you’ll come out with after viewing:

  • How a mega brand like Coca-Cola tells their brand story
  • How they tell their story through the eyes of their consumers
  • How they will bring the brand story into conversations with consumers
  • What drives their strategic marketing process in the first place
  • What unique ideas they dared to try that others have not yet approached
  • What lessons they’re taking pointers from for future plans
  • Whether they dip into other brands’ ideas and successes.

Go on…



I wrote this post because I’m impressed by Coca-Cola’s success which was, without a doubt, motivated by their creative and daring marketing strategies. They have a lot to teach other brands big and small and to teach marketers – Coke fan or not.

Original title image credit to Luke Chan.

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