December 1, 2022

Combatting a Movement: Why #shareacoke worked so well.

When health-kicks hurt your brand, where do you turn? Here is what we can learn from Coke’s plan of action.

In the early 2010s, Coca-Cola had a problem. Big Soda was on its way out, Coke included.

The late 2000s to early 2010s ushered in a quickly growing health kick thanks to celebrity influence, a pinch of politics, and, of course, the internet. Examples of this…

1) Successful actor turned lifestyle innovator Gwyneth Paltrow released her health newsletter “GOOP” in 2008, promoting healthy recipes for banana bread and often eyebrow-raising rules for a healthy body. (My take on this coming soon…stay tuned.)

2) Fad diets such as Keto, Whole30, and Paleo were on the rise, with their recipes relentlessly flooding our Pinterest homepages.

3) Big Soda was facing a sharp decline. Adults and young people were turning their backs on traditional sodas and sugary drinks for “healthier” options such as kombucha, teas, and sparkling water, or more artisanal options such as craft beers and craft cocktails.

The percentage of adults who would drink a sugary beverage (i.e., soda) on any given day dropped by 79.7% from 2003 to 2014. This decline was a flashing red light for Coke to take action to save their ship.

Enter stage left: Ogilvy and Mather Australia

In their own words: “Ogilvy is an award-winning creative company that inspires brands and people to impact the world.” Coca-Cola turned to this advertising partner to combat the decline of soda consumption.

The Australian ad team faced two objectives to solve:

1) Increase Coke sales during the summer period in Australia to test the campaign

2) Increase brand retention by engaging customers 

So, how did O&M go about solving this?


If you have been to a grocery store, gas station, or airport vending machine in the last ten years, you are more than likely aware of this campaign, if not one of the hundreds of thousands of consumers who took part in it directly. What could O&M have done to have such a simple campaign take off so successfully?

Operation #shareacoke – The Steps to Virality

1) Multichannel Rollouts

Holistic Marketing was a critical factor in the campaign taking off and remaining successful for years. O&M plastered the campaign across newspapers, billboards, city buses, and much more. Of course, social media was where #shareacoke found much of its momentum as consumers shared their names on marketing pieces across social media – Facebook especially.

2) Connecting Audience with Brand and Each Other

People follow people. It is natural. We all crave connection; therefore, we tend to copy one another to create organic trends. This was the goal of #shareacoke, and the public adopted it without challenge.

3) Listen to Learn and Evolve

#shareacoke remained a success mainly because the campaign was continually updated to keep the audience involved, keep up with internet trends, and keep consumers entertained. One example was creating an interactive billboard where audience members could text their name or a friend’s name to an SMS number to see it on a billboard. It was fun, exciting, and kept retention growing.

What we can learn from #shareacoke

There are a few lessons to be learned from this viral campaign that increased Facebook traffic by 870% and sold a total of 378,000 custom coke cans (that’s over 4.5 million ounces of soda!).

Lesson 1) ROI isn’t always measured by sales.

Sales numbers are always hugely important. But what good is one sale if the customer never returns? Remember to prioritize a balance of sales and retention to keep the numbers growing.

Lesson 2) Social media is great, but don’t forget the classics.

Social media can be a brand’s best friend, but it can also be tempting to forget everything else our audiences interact with on a daily basis. Billboards, print ads, audio, and more are major outlets that helped #shareacoke grow.

Lesson 3) Keep it simple. Really simple.

It all started with the easiest CTA possible. There were no catchy rhymes, gitchy jingles, or gimmicky features. All the audience was asked to do was share a coke. Keep it simple, and watch your interactions soar.

So, take that, Gwyneth Paltrow! Soda remains, no matter what form of liquid sugar we may prefer. 



110 Somerville Ave, Chattanooga TN 37405

Way-Finding Psychology

A significant degree of science is behind the interaction of a building and its visitors. Distance to typography size ratios, line-of-sight placement, cognitive patterns, physical barriers, and design simplicity are just some considerations when building a functional way-finding strategy.

When navigating a space, visitors look for three keys: information, engagement, and efficiency. How each of those aspects is delivered is where the psychology behind user habits comes in. Information is always the primary focus; providing clear and concise directions to destinations and features is necessary for the user experience. However, it can quickly become a negative visit when visitors are left in limbo and frustrations grow over navigation. These experiences, both positively and negatively can have a direct impact on your brand.

Many tend to think inspiration is not a central need in non-retail spaces. We tend to believe the opposite. Retail requires quicker decisions and navigation. The visits are shorter in time, and the reasons for visits are less broad than those in an educational or municipal space. Engaging with audiences in spaces with repeat visitors and frequent functional needs is where your brand can play an important role. Your brand story and why it matters to the viewer should be prominently displayed in thought-provoking ways to capture imaginations, build offline awareness, and, ultimately brand ambassadors.

The ultimate goal of this experience is guest retention. The odds of gaining an audience and getting them to engage with you again via future visits, social media, purchasing, or referrals depend on your connection with them. Way-finding and brand implementation are great opportunities to showcase your care and concern toward your audience. There are also opportunities for interactivity via technologies beyond traditional signage. Digital signage, mobile device interactions, and social media opportunities can elevate viewer engagement.

The experience of getting from point A to point B in a building should be much like navigating a website, efficient. As we all navigate online experiences, they can quickly make the process of absorbing content or making purchasing decisions either smooth or mentally taxing. Now think about your space as if it’s a website; when visitors can get where they need to go quickly, it increases the odds of positive referrals and return visits, or they can get stonewalled. Their brand interaction with you can become harmful.

Strategies to incorporate properly placed visual triggers and clear communications along every path of a visitor’s journey can ensure their visits are efficient. When visitors feel unencumbered with their ability to navigate a space, it decreases the chances of frustrations and confusion when they ultimately reach their destination or interaction. The speed at which we all consume content in media these days is breakneck; we scroll fast, click fast, and type fast. These are the same audiences in your space; keep up with them.

Below are some insightful articles on branded environments and way-finding effects on visitor habits and psychology.

110 Somerville Ave, Chattanooga TN 37405

Full-Time Marketing/Communications Strategist

Employment Type:

Full-Time, In-Office


Chattanooga, TN

Job Summary:

Saint Emblem seeks an insightful, diligent, and organized Marketing/Communications Strategist to generate effective promotional strategies for our clients and agency. 

The Marketing/Communications Strategist is a hybrid role, also requiring proficiency in managing creative projects, campaigns, and client objectives. This individual will be task-driven, responsive, and take an assertive approach to problem-solving.

To succeed in this role, you must be able to research consumer and client metrics, translating this information to Saint Emblem branded campaigns. The Marketing/Communications Strategist is primarily an idea-generating position within a creative agency, making the ability to bring unique and tactful thought to the table key.

About the Agency:

Saint Emblem is a small team based in Chattanooga, TN, specializing in brand and marketing strategy. Our philosophy is that great brands are created with a story-first approach, understanding the client’s and audience’s mission and goals before ever putting pen to paper or pixel to screen. We push ourselves daily to deliver tactful solutions that take an extra step in the creative process, providing an elevated result our clients may not receive elsewhere.


  • Create adaptable marketing strategies for clients and the agency (social media, digital marketing, and print marketing) at a variety of budgets.
  • Plan, estimate, and track progress on creative campaigns, branding projects, print orders, and more.
  • Keep remote and internal team members accountable for timelines, sprints, hours, and product quality.
  • Communicate consistently with clients and vendors via email and video call to schedule calls, record issues and requests, and present project outcomes.
  • Assist in managing the day-to-day operations of creative projects to ensure they are completed on time, within budget, and to the client’s satisfaction.( is utilized for agency project management – experience with the platform is helpful but not required.)
  • Assist in the planning, execution, and management of organic social media marketing for the agency (FB, Linkedin, and IG). ( is utilized for agency social media – experience with the platform is helpful but not required.)


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g., marketing, communications) or equivalent experience
  • 2+ years of marketing strategy and/or client communications experience preferred
  • 1+ years of project management experience preferred
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience with developing and implementing marketing strategies (social, digital, print)
  • Experience with (Some training will be provided)
  • Experience with creative agencies is preferred but not required
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite is a bonus

Statement of Diversity:

Saint Emblem may be small; however, we think big in many regards. This is seen in a universal process of creative collaboration, no matter the size or theme of our clients. Our team’s creativity is best harnessed when the diversity of people and their thinking is embraced, regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, cultural beliefs, or physical/mental capabilities. These agency ideals are reflected in a spirit of equality, empowerment, and respect for those we work for and with.

Branding is all about fostering a connection with a message and, ultimately, the people behind it. We believe these connections can be generated or followed by minds of any background, providing a platform for all to feel welcomed.

Salary and Benefits:

Your Resume

651 E. 4th St | Chattanooga TN 37403 ​