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Share a Coke and a Song

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“Coca-Cola famously did its names on bottles. Now, it's Pepsi's turn to execute a big, fun packaging idea” (Adweek, 2/19/16). Coca-Cola’s domination of the summer social conversation was under threat. Its main competitor Pepsi was stepping up its social game with the PepsiMoji campaign, which featured emoji’s on its packaging.  

As an added challenge, this summer the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign sang a new tune and featured song lyrics on packaging rather than names. But without the context of the music or moments behind the songs, lyrics such as “At last,” “All I do is win,” and “I’m only one call away” were just words on the packaging. 

Coca-Cola needed to make the lyrics more personal, more emotional. So to start the conversation UM focused on an audience passionate about music and social at their core: teens.  

The agency looked at how teens use social media to communicate. It found that of the experiences shared on social media, they often shared their moments and stories with music or lyrics.  

Songs aren’t just “songs,” they’re social media captions and soundtracks that convey the feelings and emotions behind their moments. In doubt? Pop culture websites often feature content such as are “53 Selena Gomez Lyrics That Should Totally Be Your Instagram Captions.”  

UM's key insight: Teens use songs as a language to express themselves. Songs communicate the real meaning and emotion behind their personal moments. 


The communications strategy: Make the #shareacoke lyrics a language for people to express the stories and feelings behind their moments. 

To inspire people to find the perfect song and Coca-Cola for the moment the agency turned the campaign into a language anyone can enjoy and share, whether they are creating, sharing or simply watching the content.   

It did this in three ways perfectly captured by lyrics on the packaging:  

1. “CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP GROOVING” - Give teens platforms to express their moments with music and activate influencers to show them how to take part.  

2. “A MOMENT LIKE THIS” - Entertain teens by showcasing the engaging moments of influencers. 

3. “ALWAYS ON MY MIND” – Remind people in real time to participate with the perfect lyric for their personal and cultural moments.  

For Coca-Cola social conversation is one of the most effective media channels for driving sales, so this strategy appealed to the different ways people share and engage in social conversation.  



On UM developed a social challenge for Musers ( users) to create videos with campaign songs. power user Jason Derulo kicked-off the competition and gave winners a shout out.  

To enable everyone to participate, it used Shazam’s image recognition technology to trigger a Karaoke experience from Coke packaging.  


The agency engaged people with influencer content, from high profile celebrities to social media stars.  

It sent music artists PR kits with their lyric bottles to excite them to share the first time seeing their lyric on a Coke.   

In the first ever Carpool Karaoke brand integration on The Late Late Show, James Corden and Selena Gomez scrolled through McDonald’s cups until they found the perfect lyric to celebrate the moment.  

For the BET awards, UM created the Coca-Cola Insta-Star competition and DJ Khaled rewarded the winner on-stage with his “All I Do Is Win” bottle. 

On Spotify, it built the first ever branded Behind the Lyrics playlist with lyrics intelligence website Genius. Using the content contributed by lyrical Geniuses the playlist displayed cultural moments behind the songs.  

It rallied social influencers to engage their fans by using the lyrics to capture their moments on social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.  


The agency reminded people to act by targeting them with the perfect lyric for their personal moments using contextual, interest based, and mood targeting in digital, social, TV and out-of-home. 


Results for this campaign remain confidential at the client's request.  

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Coca Cola
Drinks (non-alcoholic)
United States
April - July 2016
Media Channel:
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