So it seems that Coca-Cola is still trying to find the magic combination of virtual world and aggressive marketing that will produce the magic results it seeks. The New York Times has a story about how the carbonated sugar-water behemoth has launched an
abomination marketing effort called Coke Island in the virtual world known as There Inc. (a competitor of Second Life, but without all the flying penises).
As PaidContent points out, Coca-Cola has been down many a virtual marketing road — including the launch of its own world, known as Coke Studios, about five years ago. Although it claims to have attracted millions of members, it can’t be doing that well, since the company is effectively transporting (or teleporting) the entire shebang into There.com. Customers will apparently be able to use virtual Coke coupons to buy merchandise for their avatars and that sort of thing.
From the look of the screenshots on Mashable, you can wander around the island — shaped like a giant Coke bottle — and sit on giant Coke-logo benches and so on. I just have one question: who in their right mind thinks anyone is actually going to want to do this? Is there some kind of Kool Aid that gets passed around at the meetings where they come up with this kind of idiocy?
It reminds me of the scene in the movie Big — the one where Tom Hanks makes a wish as a young boy and is turned into an adult for a few months, and finds work at a toy company. A rival at the company is trying to compete with Tom’s brilliant Transformer-style toys, and says he has one that’s better because it turns into a giant skyscraper, at which point Tom says: “It turns into a building? What’s fun about that?”
Wandering around a giant Coke-shaped island with Coke logo benches and trading in virtual Coke coupons? What’s fun about that?