Coca-Cola South Africa’s ‘Share a Coke with…’ campaign has proved to be hugely successful for their brand.
First launched in 2014 in the US, it has since reached South African shores, and has proved to be quite a talking point.
It started with ordinary names, moving to ordinary surnames, and towards the end of last year, began emphasising names that ordinary South Africans may not have heard before, in an attempt to break stereotypes, and make authentic South African names more recognisable.
The campaign created a prominent social media presence for the company, with consumers being encouraged to hashtag #ShareaCoke.
The brand proved that engaging with consumers on a more personal level was a very profitable approach, and also solidified the company’s aim to be adaptable by using technological platforms to further boost sales, says Investopedia.
This sounds like a solid campaign, but one South African Twitter user will dispute this, after discovering a can of Coca-Cola reading ‘Share a Coke with Xitombo’, which translates to a local word used to refer to female genitalia.
(Hint: Another word for a cat)
Hi @CocaCola_ZA , do you even know the meaning of this or you just approve stuff for the sake of doing it without being cognisant of the fact that this is really uncalled for?This is disrespectful and we demand an explanation as #Vatsonga or else you will suffer the consequences. pic.twitter.com/ZQMdomlQzY
— Innocent Manyike ™ (@ManyikeInno) January 31, 2019
In reaction to the alleged mishap, people who speak Xitsonga felt disrespected and insulted, demanding that the company’s brand manager apologise and provide clarity on the use of the word.
Is their Brand Manager /Marketing Manager African?
Who approved this before going to production ?
Who is their Advertising Agency?
Is the Key Accounts Manager African ?
How about engaging language practitioners if one is not sure of what he is approving?
— TheLifestyleTourist (@ms_tourist) February 2, 2019
Xitsonga is the most disrespected language in South Africa.
— Innocent Manyike ™ (@ManyikeInno) February 2, 2019
Do they even know what it means????????????????????????????????????? ikhekhe bakhithi????????????????
— SizweMashaba (@SizweMashaba33) February 2, 2019
It is not known where or when the Coca-Cola can in question was purchased, and attempts to reach Coca-Cola South Africa for comment have so far been unsuccessful.
Updates will follow as communication from the company is received.
@CocaCola_ZA Kindly provide clarification on the Share a coke with Xitombo meaning – in Tsonga, it is a derogatory term for female genitalia.
— Nica Schreuder (@__nicklepickle) February 2, 2019