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Feb 13, 2017

Brands getting personal

by Mary Anne FitzGerald - Client Services Director

Brands getting personal

Personalistion is a hot topic for marketers and KitKat is the latest brand to get up close and personal.

Buy a promotional pack before the end of March, enter the unique code on the KitKat website and you could be the lucky recipient of your very own four finger bar whose wrapper features not only your chosen message but your photo too.

You’ll find out instantly if you’ve won but don’t be tempted to upload anything too risqué as all applications are being thoroughly vetted before the print button is pressed.

This is part of a growing trend among brand owners.

Marmite has in recent years offered personalised jars for various calendar events. And PG Tips, another Unilever brand, ran a promotion in 2016 that saw more than 500,000 branded mugs on offer to winning consumers.

Ferrero probably wishes it had been able to police its 2015 Nutella campaign a little more effectively.

Whilst the vast majority of consumers couldn’t wait to see their name on a jar of their favourite chocolate spread, others took to social media to share some more ‘creative’ messaging.


Coca-Cola was one of the first to kick things off, with its much fêted “Share a Coke” campaign. Originally trialled in Australia in 2011, the brand replaced its usual branding with first names. Although aimed at 16-24 year olds primarily, the call to action had a much broader appeal and any consumer aged between 13-60 could essentially take part without feeling excluded. When Share a Coke arrived in the UK, consumers could seek out their, or their friends' names from a choice of 150. Good but not great if your name was a little out of the ordinary.

Phase two of the campaign saw the number of names increase to 1,000 which apparently covered 81% of the UK population – much better. Sales and shares rose accordingly. Then Coca-Cola wanted to extend the campaign beyond the confines of the store environment and include everyone. In partnership with 4oD and tapping into Channel 4’s 12m registered user database to target 18-34 year olds, they used idents on 4oD to deliver 4m personalised ads direct to peoples’ devices.

The Channel 4 logo turned to reveal the viewer’s name on a Coca Cola bottle creating, as Senior Brand Manager Chris Ross put it, “a truly personal moment of excitement”.  And it worked with ad recall at 71% and purchase intent among the target audience up by 24%.

Consumers feel that brands that create unique, relevant and personalised communication are more interested in building a relationship with them.

Everyone loves something they can call their own, that no one else has or that reflects their image, thoughts or interests. Just take a look at the growth of personalised greetings card or gifting sites and you’ll see what I mean. Couple this with advancements in 3D printing technology and it might not be too long before we see brands not just offering bespoke outer labels but complete ‘create your own’ branded packaging formats too. Can’t wait for that one.

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Retail, Marketing, Packaging, Campaigns, On-Pack

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