consumer experience, technologies

Canned mobile credit

You text a short code on a packet to enter a competition or get some mobile content. And then you get billed, sometimes a bit, sometimes not so much, but always something. Right? That’s the deal.

Not any more. How about it being totally free, and you actually GET money? 50p credit, to be exact.

With surprisingly modest coverage, a new on-pack promotion has been announced which enables sweet-toothed consumers of Coca Cola (and Fanta, Dr Pepper and Sprite) to send a text message to a short code and actually GET money back. Either in the form of credit added to their prepay account, or an amount taken off their monthly bill.

A mobile credit campaign, if you will, which operates across all UK operators.

The official release says:

The ‘Every Pack Gets 50p’ mobile credit promotion will run for approximately one month, from mid July until stocks last. In this time, consumers will receive 50p free credit from every 330ml can and 500ml bottle of ‘Fanta’, ‘Dr Pepper’ and ‘Sprite’ they purchase. Each can and bottle will carry a special code, the first of which should be redeemed online at a bespoke website, Subsequent codes can be redeemed by returning to the website or via SMS to 85888 and credit will be added to the consumers account within 48 hours.

The promotion will be featured at the end of the latest ‘Dr Pepper’ TV ad campaign, with a special 10-second tag, and will feature in a high profile outdoor activity.

they get everywhere..
they get everywhere..

Technical guards are obviously in place to limit the number of times any one consumer can do this (maximum of eight).


While the campaign is operated through mobile agency, Sponge, the technically unprecedented nature of this campaign must have required Sponge’s dedicated mobile connectivity provider, or aggregator, to work closely with each individual UK operator.

It needed to make sure there was agreement, commitment and the technical billing capabilities to make the campaign work across the network board.

No small task. But when there’s the promise of a big brand like Coca Cola, together with associated numbers, organisations step on the gas, collaborate and find a solution.

Even so, the campaign’s fruition – which has seen ad agency, BD Network work with Sponge – is a fine testament to a sometimes convoluted mobile value chain collaborating brilliantly and achieving a tough end goal. So full respect to each part for getting there.

Why did Coca Cola want to do this?

Will it be a significantly effective brand loyalty exercise? Is it any more than that? Is it a compelling enough offer to have a few more quid to spend on mobile services? Or will it just go flat? (Sorry).

Hopefully time will tell. Although we probably shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for the campaign metrics.

In the meantime, I’m patiently waiting to see a can and give it a go. Newsagents are probably getting annoyed with me going into their shops, scrutinising cans in ridiculous detail, then leaving again..


NMA item
Official Coke release


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