share a coke with who?

Coke’s once again using its product not only as a marketing tool, but a way to bring people together. In South Africa, where there are 11 different residual languages post-Apartheid, Coke created the “phonetic can”. Now, sharing one doesn’t just mean potentially connecting with someone new, but someone new with a name perhaps derived from another cultural enclave. As they put it, “getting a person’s name right is the first step towards getting along together.”

As part of the campaign, they created gifs for social that would help people learn different sounds required for correct pronunciation, renamed local radio stations to peoples’ hard-to-pronounce monikers, and created OOH billboards featuring names that were likely culturally unfamiliar to the residents of the neighborhoods where they ran. Beyond advertising, South African soap operas “worked the idea into plot lines”, and teachers even used the phonetic cans “as lesson tools in classrooms.”

Why it’s hot:

The ultimate marketing combination is connection and utility. Not only is this a great extension of its global marketing efforts, it’s one that has an intensely human side and altruistic goal. It’s not superficial purpose marketing, or a meaningless stunty gesture. Whether or not you actually share a Coke with someone whose name you couldn’t pronounce without help, you would still learn how to pronounce those names and at the very least be that much more culturally savvy as a result.


Facebook To Debut Product Ads, Boost To Brands

This week Facebook is introducing Product Ads – a new format to help a business showcase their products. With product ads, you can advertise your product catalog on Facebook, either by manually creating campaigns targeting particular products to specific audiences or by uploading a product feed and letting Facebook dynamically serve relevant products to people browsing your website or app. Leading up to its official launch, Facebook has been testing Product Ads with a number of brand partners, including Target and Shutterfly.

Why It’s Hot

Product ads help direct response advertisers showcase more of their product inventory to drive higher click through rates and lower cost-to-actions. This solution consists of two ad types — multi-product ads and dynamic product ads. Multi-product ads showcase multiple images and links in News Feed. Each ad has a unique URL to drive traffic to different pages on the retailer’s site. With dynamic product ads, you can upload your entire product catalog and let Facebook serve timely and relevant creative across any device.

Businesses can target users who have previously visited their site or app, as well as reaching people based on specific interests and geographies. Brands can also curate their offerings in a number of ways, like highlighting products that were most recently viewed by shoppers, or those products that are already selling well. The automated system will turn off ads for specific products when they are out of stock.

Facebook has steadily been making inroads into ecommerce. With the help of payment start-up Stripe, the social giant recently unveiled a “Buy” button, and expanded its classifieds-style ecommerce efforts. So far, social media has yet to carve out a significant share of the ecommerce market. Social media channels — including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest — contributed just 1.7% of total e-commerce sales, this year, research firm Custora recently reported. By comparison, email contributed 27.3% of total online sales, followed by 18.9% originating from free search, and 18.5% from paid-search marketing.

Advertising on the largest social media network is a must, but how will users respond? It will be interesting to see what the click through rates and sales from the ads will be.