Share a Coke... and a song: Coca-Cola adds lyrics to cans and bottles

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

The Share a Coke and a Song campaign has a collection of more than 70 song lyrics
The Share a Coke and a Song campaign has a collection of more than 70 song lyrics

Related tags Coca-cola Diet coke Coke

Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is taking on a new twist this year, featuring song lyrics on packaging instead of people’s names. 

Coca-Cola bottles and cans will feature well-known song lyrics such as ‘We are the Champions’​ and ‘Lean on Me’​ in the US.

The lyrics have been chosen on the basis of themes that “capture a moment and reflect Coke’s brand values of optimism, refreshment and inclusion”.


The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, which swaps the Coca-Cola label for people’s names, has been a success for Coca-Cola since its launch in Australia in 2011. It has since been rolled out in more than 70 countries.

Coca-Cola says it has helped Coke grow volume, revenues and share in the flagship US market. But commentators also observe how the campaign has tapped into consumers’ desire for personalization and self-expression.  

This year’s extension, ‘Share a Coke and a Song’, will see a choice of more than 70 song lyrics from across different eras and genres on packages. Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Life will all be covered by the new campaign.

Coca-Cola says the lyrics have been chosen on the basis of the emotions they reflect and moments they capture. Joe Belliotti, head of global music marketing for Coca-Cola North America, said the lyrics were chosen not on the basis of greatest hits or trendy tracks, but because they inspire a connection.

“The goal was to create a list that appeals to diverse tastes, so every music fan feels there is at least one lyric that speaks to them,”​ he explained.  

For example, the lyrics have been chosen to reflect the feeling of falling in love (‘The Way You Love Me’​ and ‘You Belong With Me’​) and victory (‘All I Do is Win’ ​and ‘We Are The Champions’​)

There are also themes of flirtation (‘It’s Getting Hot in Herre’​) and friendship (‘Lean On Me’​).

Meanwhile, moments of motivation (‘I’m Your Biggest Fan’​) and patriotism (‘I’m Proud To Be An American’​ ) are also catered for.

From mix tapes to Coke bottles

Belliotti says the ‘Share a Coke and a song’ concept draws on the fundamental act of sharing music that has been popular throughout the years – that of creating mix tapes, mix CDs and playlists.

The core portfolio of 70 lyrics will also be extended with location-specific lyrics, says Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola is also encouraging consumers to share the campaign on social media. The lyrics on certain bottles can be scanned using a Shazam mobile app, allowing fans to record a digital lip-sync video that they can share on social media.

The ‘Share a Coke and a Song’ campaign will also be supported by an advertizing and marketing campaign covering music-themed TV and cinema ads, social and digital activations, and music events. 

Engaging with consumers: What the big brands are doing

PepsiCo’s ‘PepsiMoji’ campaign features emojis on packaging,​ making use of a universal language system to engage with consumers.

Coca-Cola South Pacific’s ‘Be More Fanta’ campaign uses selfie inspiring packaging​ – designs on cans that encourage teens to get creative and share their efforts on social media.

Nestlé has partnered with Google to deliver a virtual reality coffee experience,​ which lets consumers explore coffee fields via a mobile app and Google Cardboard viewer.

Diageo’s ‘smart bottle’​ lets consumers interact with the brand through cocktail recipes or food pairings. 

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