What’s In a Name: Coca-Cola

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Image: Sarah Pinault

Last summer, Coca-Cola took the UK by storm with its “Share a Coke” campaign. Everyone I knew was either obsessed, intrigued, or amused by finding their name on a Coca-Cola bottle. My wonderful niece, knowing that we didn’t have this in the U.S., found three of the four names in my family. She perpetrated Coca-Cola forgery on a fourth. I have to admit, I was far more excited about this than I would expect. I still have the labels, and am just waiting for the right Pinterest project to Modpodge them to.

“Share a Coke” was launched in Australia in 2012 and has since been part of the Coke advertising strategy in 50 countries.  This summer, the campaign rolled out in the U.S. I saw my first bottle in our local Subway this morning. Coke has swapped out three of its logos on 20-ounce bottles and replaced them with 250 of the most popular first names among millennials and teens. Larger bottles, such as 1.25- and 2-liters, will brandish names like “Family” and “Friends.” If that’s not your cup of tea, be on the lookout for 12-ounce cans sporting “BFF,” “Grillmaster,” “Bestie,” and “Wingman.”

Of course, this campaign also comes with it’s own hashtag. You can use #ShareaCoke if you want to share your personal Coke story. “For teens and millennials, personalization is not a fad, it’s a way of life,” says Stuart Kronauge, senior vice president of sparkling brands for Coca-Cola North America. “It’s about self-expression, individual storytelling, and staying connected with friends. ‘Share a Coke’ taps into all of those passions.”

Image: Sarah Pinault

The “Share a Coke” cross-country tour, which will feature traveling kiosks, will make 500 stops this summer. Coke drinkers will be able to customize their own Coca-Cola mini-can and a second can for a friend.

So the litmus test of popular names in 2014 will be down to teens and millenials. Did you make the list or will you have to make your own?