Monday, July 2, 2007

The Military and Industrial is Complex

While writing about "Digital Judge," I ended up reading really old posts from my Ontario Empoblog. This got me curious - what was I writing about three years ago today?

Perhaps you've heard the commercial in which a guy is building a bonfire in his front yard so that Coke will deliver his SUV to the right place. This commercial is part of Coke's "Unexpected Summer" promotion - and it has the military worried....

It turns out that selected cans of Coke had GPS cell phones rather than Coke, and that the military was worried about having GPS cell phones laying around on military bases, presumably telling Osama where the military bases were (as if he didn't already know).

I never did follow up on the campaign itself. But Jacqueline Oud did:

The campaign has been finished by the end of July 2004. The website for the campaign is no longer active and has been taken over by the general website to Coca Cola Unexpected Summer. The website of Coca Cola hardly talks about Unexpected Summer and has passed on to new "hype" marketing actions, though less "James Bondish"....

Regarding the results of their campaign, no special announcements have been made, leaving to suggest that they were not interesting enough. Coca Cola would have been able enough to make the world know how good the action had been would they have wanted to. When taking into account the results published by Coca Cola, it confirms that the USA are still part of the key markets but with weak results.

Well, one result was (supposedly) reported:

When Coca-Cola seeded pop cans-cum-GPS cell phones during its “Unexpected Summer” campaign...the prize fulfillment crew eagerly awaited calls to track and deliver prizes to its winners. The first call came from Minneapolis; the prize crew tracked the winning GPS can to … a crack house.

Well, if you consider the original ingredient list in Coca Cola, it makes sense.

By the way, Tom March links "Unexpected Summer" to Isaac Daniel (the GPS shoe guy).


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