This year's summer campaign for Coca-Cola China saw the Chinese giving one another nicknames via specially labelled bottles.
Inspired by the similar 'Share A Coke' campaign in Australia two years ago, where common first names like Amy and Kate were printed on personalised Coke cans, the concept has been modified and localised for China.
In China, first names do not work due to the sheer volume. Coca-Cola's consumer research revealed that certain phrases are very popular on key social-media channels.
AdMaster captured data on social media to extract the most frequently used 'hot words', then assessed them with three criteria (volume, interactivity, and posting rate), to an initial selection of 300 words.
Those 300 went through another process of elimination by Coke's in-house branding (and other related) departments to ensure that only the phrases that "pass positive energy on" were chosen.
The brand took these insights to develop the ‘nickname’ idea to connect itself with the target audience in a socially and culturally relevant way. Records of data mining are being retained for subsequent interactions with consumers, according to AdMaster CEO Vincent Yan.
By replacing the iconic Coca-Cola logo on the bottles with nicknames like 'Real Man' (纯爷们），'Stylish Guy' （型男），‘King Of Happiness' (快乐帝），‘Sweetie Pie' （小清新）, 'Buddy' （老兄），the campaign aims to increase product trial and purchase.
Stefan Petzinger, MD of Leo Burnett Shanghai (Coke's creative agency), said that because the Chinese love freshness and novelty, this was "a strategic move that arrests their attention".
Through social listening tools, Coke has found more than 50,000 users have directly expressed a willingness to buy the Coke bottles through both offline and online retail channels including Yihaodian. Actual sales figures are not being disclosed.
Suspense marketing was started on 28 May on social media. Nationwide advertising included two 30-second TV commercials featuring Taiwanese band May Day (五月天), with OOH, retail and print executions launched nationally on 10 June.
Since then, the campaign has reached nearly 2 billion impressions and attracted more than 1 million KOLs to spontaneously spread the word on behalf of the brand, according to Amy Chen, Coca-Cola Greater China's interactive marketing director.
"Using the consumers' language to communicate with them gets the brand recognised, to the point that they will voluntarily serve as transmitters of brand information," she said.