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The beginning

In April 2007, Coca Cola launched a contest for a virtual Coke machine that was to be utilized in Second Life. The contest invited people to design a Coke dispensing machine for use in Second Life. Dance Machine

Coke's initiation into Second Life was spearheaded by new marketing consultancy crayon, which devised the strategy for the soft drink marketer and helped it tap an advisory council made up of Second Life residents and designers which selected the winner of the competition.

Michael Donnelly, Coke's director of global interactive marketing said "the Virtual Thirst platform is something that could be extended into offline media and moreover, into portable media games, wireless and other emerging platforms. The concept could eventually tie into or complement Coke's current campaign "The Coke Side of Life." He characterized the Second Life play as a learning experience." And Indeed it was.

The Winner is...

The winning concept, as selected by Second Life residents, was Ann Marie Mathis' "Magic Coke Bottles" concept: Scattered around Second Life's environments were over a dozen bottle-shaped puzzles, which when successfully solved immerse all nearby in a unique and refreshing virtual experience. The avatar that solved the puzzle was automatically given one of several cool prizes which they can then freely copy and distribute to others. The Coca-Cola Company unveiled the winning design from its “Virtual Thirst” competition on November 8, 2007 at 1:00 pm EST on Crayonville Island. The problem was the puzzles were over 100 prims and therefore about 20 or so were rezzed.

   *  Virtual Thirst Case Study Video - click here
   * Audio from Unveiling Event (30 minutes) - 14 MB MP3 File
   * Download / Photo - Ann Marie Mathis, winner of the Virtual Thirst competition.
   * Virtual Thirst Photos - Virtual Thirst Photos
   * Prototype and Diary Videos: Videos

Virtual Thirst the website for the Coke sim.

The licensing gift

On the 7th of June 2007 Vint Falken received an e-mail from SLexchange (now Xstreet SL) that his/her Coke outfit was in violation of Coca-Cola’s trademark and the listing was taken down from their website. So, he/she contacted C.C. Chapman who had handled the Virtual Thirst campaign, and talked to Coke. June 22, 2007 SLexchange sent out the following: ‘ We have spoken to Coca-Cola and they have released their trademark to SL Merchants.

What does this mean?
Since Michael Donnelly is Coke's director of global interactive marketing, it covers the global brands. Its means that (to my understanding) that all Coke brands can be made in world without fear of infringment. And he did allow anyone to continue to make coke Products.