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The Coca-Cola Co. is inviting consumers to participate in the evolution of the brand's heritage by re-launching www.coca-cola.com as its new brand site and basing it on "The Coke Side of Life," the company's new global marketing platform.
As part of the launch, the site's content will be driven by a series of bi-weekly and monthly consumer challenges, which will be posted on www.coca-cola.com. The goal of the site is to organically develop into a global user-generated content portal with three key differentiations from other consumer marketing sites: first, visitors are given a theme/challenge to focus their creativity and are provided tools to develop their ideas; second, winners of the challenges are rewarded for their input, and; third, users gain access to a truly global community, which is invited to judge their entries. These features will allow visitors to have a more inclusive role in the company's creative process.
"Throughout Coke's history, we have seen people use the brand, its icons and heritage as a creative source," said Marc Mathieu, senior vice president, Global Core Brands, for the Atlanta-based company. "In the 60's, it was Andy Warhol. Today, it's people all over the world on the internet developing their own interpretations of the brand. We believe the independent creative process is a vital part of our heritage. With this site, we want to give a further opportunity for these imaginative minds to be part of our creative process."
To initiate interest and build on the present brand strategy, the first challenge is for consumers to create a 'bottle film' based on a personal interpretation of "The Coke Side of Life." Winners will receive prizes to help further their creativity. First prize includes a computer, digital camera and editing software valued at approximately $5,000.
The new brand site, developed by AKQA in partnership with a team from Coca-Cola, will continuously evolve over time. The company plans to develop the site by adding new countries and new areas. The company wants to tap into the passion of its users on-line and link its unique global product reach with its internet activities.
"The site will differentiate Coca-Cola from traditional company sites in that it will consist primarily of user-generated content," said Tim Kopp, vice president of Coke's Global Interactive Marketing. Although based on the creative direction of "The Coke Side of Life" originally developed by Wieden and Kennedy, the company plans to populate the site by users rather than agencies. "We realize we will need time to familiarize people with the site and are looking to learn from and build this together with the user," added Kopp.
The company's corporate website has changed to www.thecoca-colacompany.com.