Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Open a New Friendship

I sit here wondering, there couldn't possibly be anything more brilliant that Coca-Cola could do next. However, their latest campaign “Friendly Twist” just screams consumer insight! You can view the full campaign in the video link below:

It goes without saying that American undergraduate freshman get to college or university without knowing anyone on campus. Often they experience homesickness, as many American students journey long distances to their new homes away from home. I myself know this from experience.

Coming from New York, I knew no one in Florida where I was meant to spend the next four years of my studies. All I could was text my friends and family from home or check my Facebook for their updates. Admittedly, there was a lot of anxiety and little relief. But with Coke launching the campaign to create friendly interactions, I hope that today’s freshman will make instant friends.

The campaign shows the design of a special Coca-Cola bottle cap that cannot be opened without the use of a second bottle to twist the caps in opposite directions. When students figure out the trick cap, they then have to ask someone who has a second bottle to help open theirs. The consumer insight here lies in the fact that if you would like to enjoy your bottle of Coke, you’ll need to communicate with someone who is physically in front of you, and not in your cell phone. The fact that Coca-Cola has engineered and successfully produced a bottle that consumers cannot open by themselves doesn't cease to amaze me!

This campaign promotes more than just a fun activity. It involves sharing experiences, co-creating new friendships, and most of all, being happy. Human interaction is something that is instinctual and the fact that most young students have reduced it to zero by living through their phones, is hindering their transition to university life. Also, although this campaign is specifically aimed at 18 year-old students in America, it has the potential to be applied to many other countries and cultures in the near future. For example, although most students in Australia typically continue on to university with at least some of their high school classmates, the universities that they do study at are very large, so a campaign like Coke's "Friendly Twist" can provide an avenue to reach out.

So Coca-Cola, you've done it again; warmed our hearts and found a way to keep us having fun, being engaged, and creating a memory with Coke that cannot be forgetten.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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