- Coca-Cola announced a new digital docu-series that profiles a group of friends in Plainfield, Illinois, as they spend the summer months together before heading to college in the fall, the company announced in a blog post.
- "One Last Summer" will include four 10-minute episodes that highlight the friends' hangouts and adventures, including river rafting, mini golfing and other outdoor activities — all while sipping on Coke.
- The first episode aired on July 3, and the others will run each week on the beverage brand's YouTube channel. Fans can join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #ShareaCoke.
Coke is directly targeting Gen Zers with its "One Last Summer" docuseries that highlights the transition many high schoolers face before heading to college. Gen Z consumers are known to have a strong sense of self and expect brands to help them meet their goals and live out their true identities, which aligns with Coke's episodic take on the featured kids from Illinois, who are spending time together before they part ways in the fall. Making such a strong push for Gen Z in this campaign could help Coke build brand awareness with this young consumer group, whose preferences are shifting toward bottled water or better-for-you beverages as they try to avoid drinks with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
The campaign is also the latest example of how brands are experimenting with longer-form video to deliver high-quality content to consumers. Viewership of original digital video, which includes professionally produced and digitally distributed video, has increased 60% from 2013 to 2018, the Interactive Advertising Bureau found. Audiences also tend to be younger — under age 34 — more diverse and tech-savvy, and original digital video is one way brands are looking to boost engagement and brand awareness among consumers like Gen Z that are just beginning adulthood. The authenticity of Coke's docuseries, which doesn't feature actors, is another element that could resonate with targeted Gen Z viewers and help drum up some brand affinity within the age group.
"One Last Summer" is an extension of the beverage brand's "Share a Coke" campaign, which the company is deploying for the fifth year. This year's iteration features several experiential and personalized elements. Consumers can purchase customized bottles of Coke products online and personalized postcards to download and sent or share via social media. Coke also unveiled the Share Chair, an oversized armchair placed at out-of-home events throughout the summer, that doubles as a vending machine. When people sit together on the chair, personalized mini cans are dispensed, and a camera captures the moment. This points to another instance where Coke is encouraging customers to share their brand experiences on social platforms and spark some organic chatter.