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#ShareACoke Goes Viral with Pregnancy Announcement
By: Jennifer Graber
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Okay, admit it. You have dug through bins at the grocery store to find your name on a Coke bottle or can. If you say you have not, well, you might not be telling the whole truth. And how disappointing is it when you cannot find one with your name?! But I digress. Most of us do nothing with our namesake bottles of Coke, other than becoming inexplicably excited about them or perturbed that we cannot find our names. One couple, however, has showed us all up by making a wonderfully cute video that announces some significant news.
Whitney and Patrick McGillicuddy filmed a playful, short video and used the #ShareACoke campaign to their advantage to announce a big change in their family. Whitney and Patrick each took turns drinking from differently named Coke cans. Each time they would take a drink from one of the cans their respective voices would take on the characteristics of a famous person with that name. But drinking from the final two Coke cans proves to be different for Whitney and Patrick.
After taking a sip from the last two Coke cans, Whitney and Patrick return to speaking in their normal voices. There are no accents, and no famous impersonations. It's just their voices. The last two cans are turned to reveal that the names on them are “mom” and “dad.” And that is when Whitney and Patrick divulge to the world that they are parents-to-be. How exciting! What a fun, and very unique, way to announce the great news! The couple’s entertaining video has gone viral since being posted — a win-win for the couple and Coke.
When a company creates a marketing tactic, it does not have a 100% way of knowing whether it will succeed. Educated, and calculated, guesses can be made. And your strategies can be airtight. However, things can still happen in ways you do not always expect. That is especially the case in the digital world. Give customers a reason to use a hashtag, and who knows where they will run with it? This couple’s video turned out to be a positive brand boost for Coke. Consumers can either be your best friend or worst enemy. Thankfully for Coke, the hilarious couple became unofficial brand ambassadors. This viral success will be splashed across news websites and shared many times on social media. Consumers will come to associate the qualities of the couple and the video with the brand.
The success in this story is not always the case for everyone. Some viral stories go far in the opposite direction. It is a dicey move to place digital power in the hands of the consumer. First and foremost, the product and marketing strategies have to be strong. If that is not there, then there is more for the consumer to find fault with. But if your product and marketing have a backbone, your company has less to worry about. Of course, you cannot please everyone.

What are some other professional tips you might have to help a company’s tactic go viral in a good way?

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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