Virtual Thirst: Coke in Second Life

Coke enters Second Life.

From the press release:

Mike Donnelly, Director, Global Interactive Marketing: “Put simply, we’ve invited the world to use the Second Life platform to design and prototype the ultimate Coke machine – something that delivers an innovative, engaging experience in Second Life, as defined by its community of residents. For example, it could play music from a jukebox, or display fun animation and video, or transform the user’s experience and capabilities in some positive way.

There are few restrictions, except that the more inspired and original the idea, the better. This competition is a chance for anyone with a vivid imagination to design an experience that embodies the in-world Coke Side of Life in a way that enhances their lives and the lives of others within Second Life.

The prototypes are merely thought-starters that set the optimistic tone of the Coke Side of Life and the virtually limitless possibilities of such a machine. We have been careful to seek the opinion of the Second Life community before bringing it a new experience. Our approach has been to create a program that enhances this exciting virtual environment.

We plan to continue conversing with residents throughout this process. Our goal is to enable individual creativity in pursuit of a ‘vending’ machine that can exist only in your wildest imagination. Virtual worlds make it possible for such innovations to occur, and we selected Second Life as the most conducive to this experiment.”

From Millions of Us:

“It makes me so happy to see this project come to fruition. Today, in partnership with Crayon (who rock) and the Coca-Cola Company, we launched the “Virtual Thirst” campaign in Second Life. The basic idea that Coke is asking people to help them design the Coke machine of the future. One of the coolest things here is that submissions are welcomed in a wide variety of formats, from objects in Second Life to suggestions in Myspace to videos in Youtube.”

From 3pointD:

“A number of companies have been coming into Second Life lately with similar initiatives, hoping to find the killer entertainment app that residents will either keep coming back to or will carry around with them and use. It’s a nice twist to ask residents themselves to design the device. And definitely a great contract for the crayonistas to have. Looks like we’ll see how refreshing the results are sometime this summer. Should be interesting.”

From SLNN:

“Coke had already been experimenting with virtual worlds and creating it’s own, Coke Studios which launched in 2002. The company has virtual environments in Mexico, Spain, and Hong Kong . Donnelly said Coca-Cola chose Second Life over other virtual worlds because of SL’s lack of a safety net, referring to other virtual worlds as “walled garden communities.” “Specifically SL is where the traffic is. Its hockey stick of growth is intriguing.”

Coca-Cola consulted with an advisory panel made up of SL residents who offered tips on what to do and what not to do. The panel will also act as judges for the contest. The judges include: novelist Scott Sigler, Second Life Herald founder Peter Ludlow (Urizenus Skar in SL), audio educator Chris Hambly (Audio Zenith in SL), Dutch builder Latok Neumann (Latok Millionsofus), video podcaster Britney Mason, consumer advocate and music producer Eric Rice (Spin Martin in SL) and podcaster Lynette Young (Lynette Radio in SL) among others.”

From Second Life Insider:

“Are they making a big island, and a big splash, and hoping we’ll go and visit them? No. What they are doing is launching a competition (full details on their launch sitevirtualthirst.com for an idea to make something in SL that will be the SL equivalent of the RL Coke machine.

This machine will then spread around SL, just like RL. It’s phenomenally successful IRL, so why not in SL? It’s also a new approach, at least for the big RL companies. No guarantees it will work, but it feels like a different idea in SL to me, and that’s a good thing to see.”

From New World Notes:

“The competition is… well, unusual for such a strongly branded entity as the Coca-Cola Company. They’re not creating a controlled brand experience for you. They’re inviting people to mix their own brand experience. I don’t remember the last time a strong brand invited people to just mess about with the trademarks, if ever.”

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

One Response to “Virtual Thirst: Coke in Second Life”

  1. Hey there. I’m a member of the Virtual Thirst team here at crayon and just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post about the initiative.

    We’re having fun and hope the public will as well.

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