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.
Johnnie Walker’s premier Blue Label blend has unveiled a prototype “smart bottle” that enables the brand to send targeted, personalized marketing messages to consumers via their smartphones. Printed sensor tags in the bottle’s label have technology called OpenSense, which uses smartphones’ Near Field Communication capabilities (NFC). The high-tech bottle comes with “special technology” that allows Diageo to track a bottle’s movements “across the supply chain to the point of consumption.”
Why It’s Hot
The smart bottle has the ability to send relevant, personalized messages to consumers. The technology can determine if the bottle is sealed or opened. Customers just have to wave a smartphone near the bottle. If the bottle is unopened, such as sitting on a store shelf, consumers can read the tags and receive a promotional offer or branded content. Once the bottle has been opened, the messaging could switch to serving suggestions, such as a cocktail recipe. Even after consumers wave their phones close to a bottle, they must “actively opt-in and then confirm that they are of legal drinking age.”
Marketers are embracing the new mobile technology by offering new and amazing consumer experiences. The smart bottle is one way Diageo hopes to enhance their relationship with the consumer and strengthen customer loyalty.
The future in marketing is all about printed sensors. According to a report from IDTechEX, printed sensors will reach more than one billion dollars by 2020. The technology, created by Norwegian printed electronics company Thinfilm with Diageo Technology Ventures, was introduced at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The technology was primarily developed to help Diageo combat counterfeiting, but it certainly has marketing implications. The smart bottles will hit store shelves in about three years.
Coca Cola’s Share A Coke campaign showed that the soda brand seemed to really understand its drinkers – especially people with popular first names or those with the creativity to make something out of Coke cans. Now Coca-Cola Israel has expanded on this by creating a campaign with 2 million one-of-a-kind bottle designs.
Why It’s Hot: We’ve previously discussed the power of product packaging for a variety of brands. Coca-Cola, like many others, uses its packaging to engage consumers; the “Share A Coke” campaign felt personal, even though as AdWeek points out, it wasn’t personal at all. (If you’re able to find your name printed on a label, chances are that it probably isn’t too unique. Sorry to burst your carbon dioxide bubble.) The Diet Coke campaign, on the other hand, doesn’t leave anyone out and its designs alone are works of art.
I’m a fan of anything that doesn’t require finding “Lili” on a keychain – or in this case, a bottle label. Even as someone who can never find anything with my name on it, I think that a nice-looking keepsake bottle is a lot cooler than seeing my name on a label.