One of my favorite summer marketing campaigns — Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign — has returned for its fifth consecutive summer with the premiss that an ice-cold Coke tastes best when shared together with friends, family and even strangers.

Coke products will feature more than 1,000 first and last names, nicknames, patriotic labels, greek life and sports team bottles.

So why does this marketing campaign work year after year?

Coke connects with its audience on a personal level and celebrates relationships. Studies have also shown that younger consumers often feel connected to brands they’re able to engage with and that help foster their identities. Building personal connections helps build brand loyalty.

Picture Worthy
This campaign has a unique way of driving consumers to take a photo with their Coke products. Consumers may find their own name or want to share a picture with their ‘Soul Mate’, ‘Friend’ or ‘Sis’ to name a few.

Not only is there an incentive to try and find your name or that perfect message, but this year the labels on 20-ounce bottles peel off to reveal a ‘Sip & Scan’ code for chance to win a free Coke, amusement park passes, baseball tickets and other prizes. ‘Interactive Packaging’ can be a great way to increase sales.

This summer Coke added social media postcards to the mix. Users can go to and customize a summer postcard to share on Facebook and Twitter. Coke’s iconic ‘Share a Coke’ tagline has also translated into a memorable hashtag: #shareacoke.

Something New
The Share a Coke campaign has evolved each year by taking advantage of current marketing trends and adding something new to the campaign each year. This summer you can go online to order personalized bottles with a 2-line message – perfect for that family reunion, birthday party or summer event. Coke also unveiled the ‘Share Chair’, an oversized armchair and shareable vending machine for capturing moments at upcoming summer events around the country.