Coke jumps into There.com

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Coca-Cola has partnered with Makena Technologies to migrate its existing Coke Studios loyalty site into virtual world network There.com.

The new community, called CC Metro, goes live today, and derives its brand identification with the ongoing “Coke Side of Life” campaign.

“The entire virtual environment space has grown so much that it was time for a revolution rather than just an evolution of the existing technologies,” said Michael Donnelly, director of worldwide interactive marketing at The Coca-Cola Company. “The positioning for this is to keep the messaging of the “Coke Side of Life” campaign, which is upbeat and focuses on the positive experiences of drinking a Coke.”

Visitors to the existing Coke loyalty site MyCoke.com, which has signed up more than 8 million members since it began five years ago, will be taken directly into the new virtual world where they can create avatars and interact. The Coca-Cola landmass is also accessible through There.com directly, where users can enter via other worlds such as MTV's Laguna Beach continent.

CC Metro includes a skate park where avatars can play on hoverboards and a theater that plays both exclusive videos sponsored by Coca-Cola and branded commercials. The world also contains music, games and sports. Members can create music through the music mixer, socialize with other members via chat and VOIP and explore other parts of There.com.

“If you expect to come into a virtual world and expect to be successful, then it is not going to work,” said Michael Wilson, CEO of Makena Technologies. “If you integrate your brand into a community that reflects your brand, then you are more likely to be successful.”

Coca-Cola marketing partners, including American Idol, NASCAR and the Olympic Games, will also be part of the CC Metro experience. My Coke Rewards, the online rewards program, will be integrated into CC Metro, letting users purchase virtual merchandise through a My Coke Rewards store. Members can also buy There.com's virtual currency, Therebucks, which can be used to buy accessories for their avatar.

“If the experience is good, then the brand will reflect this good experience,” Donnelly said.

 

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