Viral Marketing: Did Coca-Cola Crack the Code?

Coca-Cola has built up an impressive social media fan base, and is now using riddles and other small challenges to engage fans on these platforms and get them to interact with branded content. With 40.5 million Facebook fans, over 505,000 followers on Twitter and 434,000 following the brand on Google+, Coca-Cola has no shortage of fans to try out a new social strategy and see if it goes viral.

Rather than simply asking a question or posting pictures or video, the brand has recently been posting riddles with a fill-in-the-blank URL at the bottom, which users can type in to their browser for a fun experience based on the riddle answer.  Here’s one example from Google+: “Set them up row after row/knock them down and watch them go/It’s a toy that the whole world knows/The simple joy of F _ ll_ _ _ D _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .com” – the URL leads to an animated hand next to a Coke bottle.  Users can move the hand toward the bottle to begin a pretty cool dominoes visual experience.

Viral Marketing: Coca-cola uses riddles, challenges to engage fans on social mediaCoca-Cola is also experiment with other types of challenges, like the brand’s most recent Facebook post: “EqmgUrkppgt.eqo/Shift the letters back two steps, and magically, the symbols might make sense to you and me. Once you have the correct letters sealed, A spinning toy will be revealed!”  Again, fans enter the URL and click on the content to engage.  In just over a day, the post received over 5,000 likes, 310 shares, and 316 comments on Facebook alone – clearly fans are taking the time to unlock the content, and are enjoying what they find.

The riddles and challenges are being promoted through Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  Mashable dubs them “a creative alternative to Coke’s usually banal status updates.”

What do you think – will the riddles keep social fans coming back for more?