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‘90s Favorite Soda, SURGE, is Back by Social Media Demand!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Welcome back SURGE! This ‘90s nostalgic soda has finally returned after being off the market for 12 years. Thanks to a well-formulated Facebook social media campaign called the SURGE Movement, Coca-Cola has decided to give fans what they have been desperately seeking, and we marketers get to learn from their experience!

Three passionate SURGE fanatics started the Surge Movement in 2011 with a farfetched dream to bring back their favorite soft drink. Since then, the group has generated nearly 150,000 Facebook likes! Last year, the SURGE movement group raised almost $4,000 to deliver a message to Coke on a billboard half a mile from their headquarters. With a goal to catch Coca-Cola’s attention and voice their request to bring back this ‘90s favorite, the billboard message read: “Dear Coke, We couldn’t buy SURGE so we bought this billboard instead. Like on Facebook: SURGE MOVEMENT”. The brand loyal group also raised and spent $7,229 on Facebook advertisements and obtaining the www.surgemovement.org domain name. Their website consists of a landing page with only one call to action available to the user: donate to the movement. 

The organizers of this movement had a simple marketing approach. Their social media strategy focused solely on Facebook advertisements. Being the largest social media platform, Facebook is an important component to any marketing strategy. By using Facebook as a means to promote their cause, they were able to reach the optimal amount of fans while gaining additional attention from the social media buzz. Facebook ads are affordable, simple to control, and easy to gage the outcome of each advertisement, which is great for small start-ups similar to this organization. 

Coke announced the comeback on Monday, September 15th! SURGE is only available for a limited time and can only be purchased on Amazon.com. The citrus flavored soda is being sold in 12 packs for $14 with the same packaging and ingredients as its original release in 1996. 

This is a new move for Coca-Cola. It is the first time Coke is relying solely on social and digital media marketing to determine future production decisions for a product. Foregoing all traditional forms of marketing, Coca-Cola is depending on the public to build excitement online and create a strong need for SURGE in the market. It is also the first time they are distributing a product solely through e-commerce. Wendy Clark, president of sparkling and strategic marketing for Coca-Cola, says “This will be a great learning experience for us and a refreshing opportunity for fans.”  

For the most part, Coca-Cola is letting their consumers take the reins, creating the best advocates for their brand. In order to have customers drive your brand the first step is giving them what they want. In this case, Coke delivered on fan requests to revive SURGE. In return, Coke’s marketing investment has been minimal. To date, they have only created a @Surge Twitter account and purchased promoted posts through Facebook to point SURGE-deprived fans in the right direction. 

Coca-Cola is leaving SURGE’s fate up to the fans. Either keep the orders coming or face their favorite soda being discontinued once again. Considering the immediate sell-out during Monday’s launch, it’s looking good so far for Amazon, Coke and even better for SURGE enthusiasts!

Written By:
Deanna Di Marco

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Posted by Tracy Ryan