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What the Resurgence of Surge tells us about Facebook’s Influence

Published: September 17, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell

Can you feel your heart palpitating? That’s right, Surge is back thanks to fans on social media.
Some backstory for those of you who have not felt the blessing of the citrus soda juggernaut: Surge was a heavily caffeinated soda of middling popularity that Coca-Cola introduced in 1997 and killed off in 2003 due to dwindling sales. It was a direct competitor to Mountain Dew and never sold as well as Pepsi’s offering.
So why is it news?
Well, a group led by a few nostalgic enthusiasts on Facebook influenced Coca-Cola to bring the soda back on the market (at least on Amazon). As of this writing, the Surge Movement fan page on Facebook has over 135,000 likes. Their page says that they have two goals:
1)   Bring back Surge
2)   Ensure Long-term success [of the product]
The fact that they’ve managed to even get Coca-Cola to bring back the drink is proof of the power of social media, and (perhaps esoterically) the Facebook advertising platform. According to the article on USA Today, page organizers for Surge Movement spent $7,229 on Facebook advertising (and the URL Surgemovement.com) to get the movement noticed by executives at Coca-Cola.
Though not inexpensive per se, this influence of niche consumer on brand is one that may not have been possible in the few short years since the page was created without the aid of advertising.
As for goal number 2? Surge has sold out twice in one day on Amazon. There are no reports at this time as to how much soda was stocked either time, but that’s a good indicator that sales may continue. At $42 (including shipping) for a package of 12 cans, that may not be a sustainable model for long.
Maybe next someone will start a campaign for the year-round McRib.

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