Coca- Cola and Facebook teamed up recently and brought Facebook to life at the Coca- Cola Village, a water park in Israel.
With the help of IDF bracelets developed by Publicis E-dologic people could “Like” real objects and activities in the park. On arrival every visitor was outfitted with a bracelet ID linked to their Facebook account and transmitting RFID signals allowing them to use the “Like” machines throughout the park. If a visitor “likes” a special feature of the park, it will automatically appear on their Facebook news feed. Additionally, a photographer was present and if you wanted to tag yourself in any image you just had to wave your ID bracelet to the photographer.
The images also appear automatically on the Coca- Cola Village Facebook fan page, fully tagged of course.
It is a very innovative way to connect the virtual with the real world and enables Facebook users to share their experience with their friends worldwide in a fun and new way.
Personally, I think I would have had a lot of fun “liking” things via my bracelet and being automatically tagged in photos. It is stuff I do anyway on Facebook and I don’t see the harm. Facebook and Coca Cola just facilitated what people do anyway, only difference that is was in real time.
I would also argue that this exercise was a very clever way to revive the “like” button. These days the button means almost nothing and is just a virtual grunt of appreciation. By transferring it into the real world however, it becomes an association with a real emotion. Surely, that will result in a fantastic brand image for Coca Cola which in turn will result in more sales.
No doubt, Coca Cola gains the most out of this exercise and it has been reported that over the three day period 35,000 pieces of content was posted on Facebook. On average each of the 650 visitors posted 54 branded pieces of Coca Cola merchandise to their Facebook page.
While Coca Cola is famous for bringing the brand alive via events such as the Coke Zero and Mentos Rocket Car or the Coke Happiness vending machine, it is the first time Facebook has ventured outside the virtual world.
I am wondering if we really want Facebook in the real world and if Facebook will repeat this exercise in a different location soon. It certainly is a trend to bring Facebook, your activities and “likes” into the real world, evident in the launch of Facebook Places in the US last week. Facebook Places, Foursquare and other real time location sharing apps will be gaining more and more popularity and possibly become the next big thing, at least for a while.
I certainly would have a lot of fun using the RFID signal bracelets and hope I get a chance to do so in the future.