Consumers across the U.S. were treated to the benefits of digital printing this past Summer as The Coca-Cola Company rolled out soda bottles garnishing popular names as part of its Share a Coke campaign.
The campaign was intended to elicit a meaningful connection between consumers and the brand. To help make this happen, Hewlett-Packard (HP) digital print technology played an important role.
The campaign, which was originally introduced in Australia in 2011, launched in the U.S. in the Summer of 2014 and included more than 250 popular names, nicknames, and terms of affection to select Coca-Cola products. Labels were printed using the HP Indigo WS6000 Series Digital Presses.
Using targeted consumer demographics data as well as variable data printing, HP worked with Coca-Cola to segment the production lines of its HP Indigo WS6000 Series Digital Presses to produce varying run lengths of each name, based on U.S. regional demand.
According to HP, running 24 hours per day and six days a week for approximately three months, the HP Indigo WS6000 Series Digital Presses delivered the productivity and quality required to meet Coca-Cola’s weekly production minimums and hit launch volume specifications. HP supported production with around-the-clock technical service to maintain maximum press utilization.
To create the necessary level of durability to withstand the speeds of the U.S. bottling lines, a new substrate and laminate construction replaced the media and varnish overlay technique initially used for the campaign in Europe. Additionally, the Coca-Cola Red Ink was reformulated to accommodate the new substrate, and updated color was maintained across all U.S. print providers’ HP Indigo digital presses to ensure color consistency worldwide, upholding the company’s strict brand standards.
The Share a Coke campaign represents a great example of a big brand exciting consumer interest with the power of digital print. The latest print technologies, as well as the power of a national social media campaign and publicity tour, allowed for the traditional brand to prove its relevance to the next generation.