How Coca-Cola's "Sharing" Campaign Messed Up Its Brand

This is a can of Coca-Cola.

This can holds memories, sweetness, refreshment, joy.

I don't care how many calories are in this can.

This can is a selfish pleasure, all for me, now.

This is a can of a Coca-Cola with someone's name on it.

It is a sacrilege to all the brand stands for.

By creating this can Coca-Cola has demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of its own core product.

And this is the Coca-Cola sharing campaign.

It magnifies the original error.

All I want is a classic Coke. Not New Coke, not a soda with someone else's name.

I don't want to share it.

And I don't understand who messed up what was the #1 brand in American history, or why.

* This post was written by Dannielle Blumenthal in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the National Archives and Records Administration, or the United States government. Screenshots via various Google searches for Coca-Cola cans and the "sharing" campaign online.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.