Coca-Cola Gets Personal (and Israeli)
New personalized cans star Hebrew, Arabic, and English names
Guests entering our dining room quickly guess that my wife has a personal relationship with Coca-Cola. When the company announced, in 1985, that it was changing its secret formula to create the ill-fated New Coke, this panicked teenager began collecting what she assumed would soon be collector’s editions of cans and bottles in every shape and style she could lay her hands on. Over the years, the collection grew, spent time in a museum, and today adorns our dining room in a pair of glass showcases.
In a Jerusalem supermarket this week, it was Coke’s turn to get personal with her: she found a bottle with her name on it…literally. As an online marketer, I’ve seen some powerful campaigns, but I’m still reeling from the slam-dunk vibe of this one. The program is called “Enjoy Coca Cola with…,” and shoppers can now find bottles and cans emblazoned with their names — designed, naturally, to be grabbed off the shelves.
Apparently, a similar campaign is running in Sweden, where instead of Hila, Galit, Eitan and Lior, you’ll find 150 of their most popular names, like Maria, Karl, Birgitta and Göran. (Interestingly, despite its popularity, “Mohammed” won’t grace the labels over there, as it doesn’t jive, the company explains, with a product so closely identified with the United States.)
It’s truly inspired. Standing by the displays, we watched as shoppers slid across the shelves turning bottles, seeking the eponymous. They grabbed husband/wife pairs, girlfriends squealed with each discovery, and my wife even found “Saba” alongside names of two of his granddaughters. But the brilliance of the campaign is its social-media-based virality–naturally, before the shopping cart, the camera phones come out to send the images directly to social networks to share the excitement. Facebook profile pictures are already popping up. Saba got his picture, seconds later, back in New York.
Can’t find your name? The website will now help you create a “Virtual Can” in seconds, ready for sharing, and stands await shoppers in supermarkets across the country to create named cans on the fly–whether in Hebrew, English, or Arabic. Mohammed’s in luck, after all.
Jay Bailey has lived in Efrat, Israel for 18 years. His marketing company, RapidFire Consulting, helps startups and non-profits in Israel and the U.S. tell their stories through animated video and website messaging.
Plus debates continue over Japanese and Bulgarian WWII history
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.