Channel 4

Channel 4 Shares a Coke

In the world of broadcasting, Channel 4 has pioneered the use of first-party data. Direct viewer engagement is at the heart of our entire strategy, and our viewer database has grown to almost 12m. By developing a 1:1 relationship with our viewers, we understand their needs, motivations and interests, and we are constantly innovating to offer a more personalised experience, both editorially and commercially.

The Big Idea

Knowing who our viewers are allows us to be more relevant, do lots of ‘cool stuff’ and gets brands closer to the right viewers. This made C4 the essential partner for Coca Cola to work with and build on their successful ‘Share a Coke’ campaign and take it to the next level. To amplify their core campaign of individually named Coca Cola bottles, we delivered the first ever personalised TV ad in the world...

The simplest ideas are the best. Our big idea was for the viewer’s very own name to appear within the advert on their very own bottle of Coke on All4. This added a truly personalised element to the broader Share a Coke campaign. This solution utilised our market-leading viewer data and harnessed new technology to deliver a truly unique experience for our viewers. In real time using our first party data, we were able to serve 4m unique Coke adverts with individual names reaching 1.4 million of our core 16-34 audience. This level of personalisation was a global first and provided huge standout – not to mention a fantastic social media ‘fizz’!

“Channel 4 really gave us the opportunity to speak to people in a personal nature and just added that touch of magic and wow!” - Chris Ross, Senior Brand Manager at Coca Cola

Making it Happen

Mediacom discussed the idea of creating a personalised Coke campaign with seven media owners. In line with our “Born Risky” mantra Channel 4 were the only media owner with the bravery and capability to pull this off. After collaborating with Mediacom to devise the idea of placing user’s names on a personalised Coke bottle, we undertook the task of getting the idea into reality. As with many great things the beauty of the campaign was in its simplicity. But this didn’t mean it was simple to implement. Although our data strategy is over 3 years old pulling user’s first names from the server onto the advert had a number of technical difficulties which took us months of blood, sweat and tears to implement. One of the biggest challenges was to trawl through our database with a profanity list to ensure that there were no PR disasters with inappropriate or indeed downright offensive names appearing on Coke bottles.

The Results

The campaign generated huge social traction with social reach of #Shareacoke peaking at 11 million. Of those exposed to the campaign 43% of them talked to someone about it (vs benchmark norms of 18%)* with tweets such as @dj_strika Looool omg watching 4od and they played a coke advert with my name on it!! Actually “Jermaine”.


The campaign was a huge success in research metrics too. Ad recall was 71% (vs benchmark norms of 41%)* , campaign awareness was up 17% and purchase intent increased 24%.