Campaign: A Year to Share
Companies: Coca-Cola and Google
Agency partners: Ogilvy (PR, creative)
Duration: December 2019
Coca-Cola and Google teamed up to show, through search term trends, how people around the world tend to focus on friendship, family and food during the holidays.
Coca-Cola approached Google in fall 2019 with the idea of partnering on a video that illustrated the holiday season’s unifying effect. Most of the year, Internet search terms focus on trending, often divisive topics. But as November and December roll around, there is a spike in searches for topics centered on family and togetherness.
“We searched throughout the year and found that through January to November, there was division and tension,” said Paola Escalante, head of creative at Google’s creative think tank The Zoo Google México. “In December, the volumes of topics that unite humanity - how to gather together, how to set a table for more people - grew. It was, for us, very surprising and at the same time humbling.”
Coca-Cola began working on its Christmas campaign in August 2019. In October, it reached out to Google to see if the company wanted to partner on a video illustrating search trends.
From there, Google created a tool to analyze search terms around the world throughout 2019, cross-referencing the results with datasets by The New York Times and Wikipedia. These included: “gay marriage,” “Notre Dame fire,” and “youth protests against climate change.”
In December, searchers turned toward less topical or divisive topics to include, among other searches: “how to make a surprising a gift,” “traditional recipes, and “how to cook for 12 people.”
Google and Ogilvy teams then shot a video - in both English and Spanish - showcasing how search terms change leading up to the holidays. The team also released a standalone site, where people could use the search tool to analyze terms by month, location or topic.
In late December, Ogilvy pitched the media, sending them the campaign video, additional assets and the opportunity to speak with Coca-Cola and Google executives.
A Year to Share has been viewed 59 million times across social platforms, with 28% of those views in Spanish and 72% in English. On YouTube alone, it has 43 million views, with a 78% completion rate.
The campaign’s success was a real example of taking advantage of “an opportunity to capture the attention of the consumer,” Escalante said, in large part by distilling trends from data showcasing what they are already interested in.