Archive for the 'Branding' Category

Coke, Branding and Second Life

August 27th, 2007 | Category: Branding, Doing Business in SL

As has been said on many blogs, including this one, you have to become part of the Second Life community to get people interested in what you are doing, you can just create a sim and say here it is. Coke is one of those brands who gets it, as they have been involved in the SL community since they first entered Second Life and will continue to do so. As the gentleman mentioned in the post I reference below, Coke advertising and branding is no longer about selling Coke, it is about becoming part of people’s, or avatar’s, lives, as there is no real way, currently, for them to track if a campaign has sold more cans of Coke or not.

The story below is from a panel at the 2007 Second Life Community Convention, the panel included Mike Donnelly, Director of Global Interactive Marketing at Coke spoke on a panel with C.C. Chapman and Steve Coulson from Crayon about Coca-Cola’s Virtual Thirst contest in Second Life, where users where challenged to create a Coke machine for Second Life, a tough project considering that the avatars do not need to eat or drink. The winner has not yet has been announced, btw, see below.

“Coke was in Second Life prior to us actually entering SL,” said Donnelly, referring to coke machines fans were making and putting in the world. Taking what the fans were doing to the next level, Crayon and Coke developed a contest to make a vending machine, with the idea that SL residents are thirsty for experience. Of course, avatars don’t have physical needs like eating and drinking, but by taking the brand value of coke and appropriately translating it into a virtual world, Crayon and Coke created an appropriate, successful campaign. To be clear, I’m not saying they were successful, Donnelly the client said the campaign was successful based upon the criteria they set for themselves.

“As the #1 brand in the world, I can’t play around too much,” said Donnelly, referring to the fact that he needed to provide real marketing value with Coke’s Virtual Thirst. To do so, they tracked the social media around the initiative. Donnelly said that all marketing ultimately is about selling more Coke, but for this effort, the measures were about branding. In other words, they didn’t measure an up tick in sales, they looked at metrics around participation and community reach. The results were:
- 300 blog posts about the contest
- 33,000 links
- 150+ photos in Flicker
- 31,000 Youtube views with 160,000+ comments.

Donnelly said he was pleased with the results and will continue to participate in SL as part of an integrated marketing plan, meaning, participation in Second Life is not enough, it needs to be part of larger strategy in order to be successful. Indeed, the contest itself recognized that limiting entries to builds in Second Life would exclude some people, so they allowed contestants to enter anything: emails, hand drawn sketches, storyboards, etc. The thing they wanted was the idea, in any form. Source: Coke Comes Clean about Second Life

Donnelly concluded with a number of lessons learned from the experience:

  • Listen to the community. Do not talk at customers.

  • Partner with pros.
  • It’s about community, not location.
  • Embrace your critics and learn from them. (”I’d rather have critics talk about me than no one talking about me.” Donnelly increased the prize money after people criticized the contest for having too small a pot.)
  • Maximize success, use multiple channels.
  • Strike a balance between art and science.

Added: C.C. Chapman pointed out that the winner had been announced on the Virtual Thirst competition, they just have not yet released the final product, the winner is named below.

As one of the project leads I’m VERY excited to announce that we have a winner in the Virtual Thirst contest and her name is Ann Marie Mathis aka Emerie May in Second Life.

Not only did she submit the winning idea, but she also went and took several photos of herself for bloggers to use in their posts. The one above is one that I found on her Flickr stream and got a big kick out of it. The fact that she took the time to take photos gave me a big smile! I was going to ask if I could take some of her and she beat me to it!

In the very near future she will travel to California to work with Millions of Us on making her idea a reality. We can’t wait to share some of that with you in the future! Source: Virtual Thirst Has a Winner

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