Coke Plans Massive Online Loyalty Promotion

Coke has appointed my alma mater (OK, it was a long time ago), Carlson Marketing to run a massive online loyalty programme aimed at teens. The idea is that kids collect some form of currency from Coke products, which are redeemable against purchases from affiliated brands, via the supporting website.

While no real details are available, I’d hope that mobile will be as central to this promotion as online. This is particularly the case as Coke have been such pioneers in the mobile space to date. But with more than 1/3 of Coke drinkers being regular users of the mobile web and certainly with 100% using mobile phones – or as near 100% as makes no difference – it would seem odd that mobile didn’t have a role. I’d actually argue that the role should be a primary one, with the PC-web supporting the promotion.

So how would it work?

1. Purchasers collect the currency, which would be some form of unique alphanumeric code. I think this would be possible in production terms and is probably how the online side of things would have to work anyway.

2. Purchasers sms the code to a central server. Alternatives are a WAP interface and online. Do they need a postal option these days? Probably as much as they need to provide a telex entry point.

3. They can see their balance¬†via the¬†wapsite¬†or via an sms query to the server. Or, of course online, when they can get onto the family computer, as Dad is playing Solitaire, sis is playing Sims (deliciously retro) and older bro is WOWing like it’s going out of fashion – which it isn’t, of course.

4. Maybe, this could also be enhanced via a Java magazine, where people can see their points balance¬†and browse through some recommended purchases from the partners. Don’t forget to allow a lot of time and funds for porting the application across handsets though.

The beauty about doing this via the mobile is that it stimulates impulse behaviour, maximises participation and has the potential to engage the audience 24/7. Plus it’s the preferred communication channel of choice among the target audience.

Maybe Carlson and Coke will end up going down this direction, but it’ll be a huge missed opportunity if they don’t.

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