Coca-Colas CMO reportedly had to give the nod for the coloured cans

Coca-Cola's CMO reportedly had to give the nod for the coloured cans

Even in this so-called age of austerity, the world does not want for Coke campaigns.

Type Coca-Cola into YouTube and, thanks to a global network of bottlers, you will easily find a freshly-minted ad for the famous red can, be it from Brazil, Bangalore or Bangor, Maine.

But one Coca-Cola campaign currently underway in Australia stands out from the rest, and not just because it has shown demonstrable success in the three months since it started. The "Colour your Summer" push is from Sydney-based Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA), the same company than came up with the Share-a-Coke campaign in 2011. CCA, which released its full-year results yesterday, may be having sales and profits problems in its core Australian beverage business, but the Share-a-Coke activation was deemed so successful in Australia that it was exported to many of Coca-Cola's markets around the world. 

The idea was simple: Replace the Coke logo with a selection of popular first names. It even inspired other soft drinks makers to run similar activations, including an Irn Bru one in Scotland that used Scottish clan names.

So what is the new one all about?

'Colour your Summer' uses a selection of short, irreverent ad clips to promote special price-marked 25cl brand Coke cans that come in six neon colours. Just like in Share-a-Coke, the cans are targeted predominately at the teen market, a consumer slice that in the past few years has moved away from CSDs and into other categories such as energy drinks.

Because of the target demographic, activations, including the commericals, are confined to digital. (Or as O'Connell put it to analysts unlikely to know their Snapchat from their Yik Yak, "the mysterious world of social media".) Their reach, however, has been impressive, with 21m views so far despite Australia containing just 2.3m teenagers. That's a sign that older consumers are also engaged, O'Connell said. 

But of the numbers cited yesterday the one that caught the eye was the ten-percentage point increase in teen consumers for brand Coke that CCA had seen in the past four weeks. That's equal to "180,000 new arms that have reached for a Coke for the first time in quite a while, or perhaps ever", O'Connell said. He also said that CCA plans to roll out a second and third phase of 'Colour Your Summer' over the next few months.

There are dangers with the campaign - Coca-Cola has never previously been keen to play fast and loose with the iconic Coke can colour for fear of brand dilution. (According to Australia's Ad News, CCA's November launch of the coloured cans was only signed off on after the company received the all-clear from Coca-Cola's CMO in Atlanta, Joe Tripodi.)

But that's unlikely to deter other bottlers looking to recapture the disappearing teen market. Looks like another glut of those Coca-Cola ads is just around the corner.