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Coke has a bottle with your name on it

Consumers can buy personalized bottles as part of the Share a Coke campaign

Canadians are getting to know their Coke bottles on a first-name basis.

This summer, approximately 25 million personalized bottles will be distributed from Coca-Cola Canada’s facility in Brampton, Ont. as part of the company’s “Share a Coke” campaign. The bottles have been labeled with 290 of Canada’s most popular names, so consumers can find the name of someone special – maybe a friend or family member – and share the bottle with them.

According to Sonia Bongiorno, senior marketing manager for Coca-Cola, the names represent approximately 60% of the Canadian population. They were chosen based on data from a third-party research firm, paying particular attention to the country’s ethnic groups as well as both the English and French speaking population.

The campaign has rolled out in more than 50 countries around the world in the past two years, with this being its first year in Canada.

Share a Coke packaging has begun to ship and is already popping up in some markets, expecting to reach stores across Canada in the next few weeks.

“I think consumers will be excited to see their own name on a bottle but will also look for the names of their friends and family,” says Bongiorno. “Because of the random nature of our production, there is no way of knowing what names will be at which locations, which is what makes it fun to find the names of others and share that special moment with them.”

Does you name not make the cut? Not a problem. Coca-Cola is also setting up Share Kiosks at 76 events this summer so consumers can create their own labels.

The Share Kiosks were kicked-off last week at the Calgary Stampede. Canadians just need to touch the screen, type a name, and a few seconds later, out pops a customized can.

Bongiorno says the campaign has seen tremendous success in other markets, particularly around consumer awareness and social engagement.

Hopefully it will do the same in Canada. Carbonated beverage sales have been on the decline, with soda sales down 5% in the last year, according to Nielsen data.

Share a Coke is part of an overarching marketing strategy centred around sharing happiness and special moments. It’s meant to inspire consumers “to think about who they would like to connect with, find their name, and take the opportunity to be in the moment and share that time with someone special.”

The campaign includes TV commericals, outdoor ads, digital advertising and social media promotion.

Coca-Cola is also putting titles such as “Mom” or “Coach” on larger bottles, to appeal to a larger crowd.

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