Sprite going Social

I get why Sprite wants to do what they are planning, but don’t understand the method… Rather than develop y our own social network, why not parter with exist companies that have massive communities and inertia. Being an active participant in these networks take time and time in Sprint Yard will be time away from MySpace, Facebook Bebo, Twitter and Jaiku… among probably at least a hundred other choices.

Sprite Yard, to be introduced in the United States this month, will look a lot like the social networking sites that have become popular on the Internet. Consumers will be able to set up personal profiles, share photos and chat online with friends, all using cellphones rather than computer screens.

People will type in codes from Sprite bottle caps to redeem original content, like ring tones and short video clips called mobisodes. Recently, one of the most redeemed prizes from Coca-Cola promotions has been virtual clothing and furniture to use in virtual online worlds, said Mark J. Greatrex, senior vice president for marketing communications and insights at Coca-Cola.

Sprite Yard was introduced in China last week, and Coca-Cola plans to extend it globally and perhaps to other soda brands over the next few years. For the time being, Sprite Yard will function only on cellphones — the medium that Sprite’s marketing team said was the most popular with teenagers.

“Being with them on their mobile phones is absolutely essential,” said Mr. Greatrex at a news conference yesterday. Sprite, he said, is “trying to establish an omnipresent, on-the-go, everywhere relationship with teens.” [New York Times]

I do like that it’s mobile only initially and actually think that will be part of the appeal. My suggestion would be to make it accessible over using both web and messaging services – perhaps even a mobile J2ME app. Again, I’d prefer to see this implemented over Facebook (for example) rather than as something new…

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2 comments for “Sprite going Social

  1. 6/7/2007 at 1:48 pm

    I agree. This seems doomed to me. No matter one’s affinity for a brand, I think few people will embrace defining all (or any) social interactions around any one brand. Friending a brand on MySpace is one thing, turning the one into the other is a step (or three) too far.

  2. 6/7/2007 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t get the friending of brands in MySpace (or myspace for that matter) but people seem to just do it blindly to acquire more friends… Seems like initially you cover the bases, but end up diluting your brand with a network of people who actually care very little.

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