• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Share a Coke has become trite

For most of my life I have enjoyed Coke over Pepsi.

I always found something so refreshing about cracking open a fresh red can and pouring its contents over ice. It had a sweet, indulgent taste that Pepsi just never had, in my opinion.

OK, I'm done with Share a Coke.
OK, I’m done with Share a Coke.

Coke, to me, always had the greater product – the taste was better. Or at least, that’s what I’ve always thought. (More on this later.)

But then something stepped in the way of my favorite carbonated beverage: an increasingly stupid campaign on its can called, “Share a Coke.”

Names on Coke bottles were once clever.

If you’re not familiar with the “Share a Coke” campaign, it began with the folks at Coca-Cola printing personal names on the labels of coke bottles and cans. This drummed up some interest on social media outlets where people would post pictures with themselves and a Coca-Cola bottle that sported their name.

It was a bright concept because, unlike other soda campaigns, it was about the soda drinker, not the drink. Plus, you could order bottles from Coke with specific names on them. Consequently, many analysts deemed “Share a Coke” campaign a success.

Coke is now overdoing “Share a Coke.”

It’s an uncomfortable thing to witness someone trying too hard to be hip. That’s kind of how I feel with Coke’s newest incarnation of “Share a Coke.”

Just yesterday, I was drinking a can of Coke Zero while hanging with my daughter. About halfway through my can, she looked at me and began laughing, then said: “Sup Bro.”

“Sup Bro?” I was confused.

“Bro. It’s written on the can, Dad!”

I took a look at the other cans in the fridge that had other idiocies printed on them: adventurer, sidekick and better half, and immediately rolled my eyes.

How stupid.

I suppose all the bros in the world are going to seek out these cans and take selfies with them for Instagram.

Coke’s brand is in trouble. With the latest update of “Share a Coke,” especially, Coke has displayed that it no longer gets why people like myself drink it: because of what the brand of Coke means.

(Sidenote: Pepsi often wins in blind taste tests. But Coke wins when drinkers are not blind. It’s the Coke brand that makes us think it tastes better.)

I can assure you that it isn’t because of some inane pronoun printed on a can.

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