Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign has been running off-and-on in some fashion since the idea was first formed in Sydney in 2011. The concept was to replace the Coca-Cola logo on cans of Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero – arguably one of the most recognized logos on the face of the planet – with 150 of the most popular names in Australia. The campaign struck a nerve that would eventually expand to over 70 countries and over 500k names. Customers were encouraged to share photos of their experience on Twitter, and the campaign capitalized on a global trend of self-expression and sharing, with Coca-Cola’s natural knack for striking a deep emotional cord through it all. This is a case study that is fascinating for it’s fantastical success, but also to see how the idea grew and expanded over time.
In December of 2011, Anheuser-Busch partnered with VideoGenie (now StoryBox) to launch a Facebook Application to audition a Bud Light Hotel correspondent. Contestants submitted thirty-second video clips in an “Ultimate Fan” format, showcasing why they were the ideal candidate for this killer role. The winner was selected to cover Super Bowl XLVI from the Bud Light Hotel, a 180-room renovated hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Not only would the winner star in a series of videos for AB InBev’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel, but they would attend red carpet events, conduct celebrity interviews, and get behind-the-curtain views of Playboy and EA Sports parties at the hotel. The winner also received a salary for their tenure. The Bud Light team presented on this campaign at the 2012 SXSW conference and called it “the most effective User Generated Content campaign that Bud Light has ever run.”
In April of 2014, Starbucks launched the White Cup Contest. Inspired by the photos posted to social media sites of customers doodles on their mostly white Starbucks paper cups, Starbucks decided to take things one step further. They encouraged their customers to doodle away, post a photo of the finished product to Twitter or Instagram with #WhiteCupContest, and the winner would have their design printed on a limited edition Starbucks reusable plastic cup. The contest generated nearly 4,000 entries in just three weeks, and changed the winner’s life.