Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Credit Where Credit is Due

After close to a year since the (soft?)launch of Coca-Cola Zero, the soft drink giant introduced a new campaign supported with this fairly clever microsite. Without reinventing the wheel, Coca-Cola has managed to take aspects of other successful viral online campaigns, and created a surprisingly entertaining experience.

Much like the infamous SOAP "phone a friend" gag, the Zero site includes a "sue-a-friend" feature that generates legal documents you can send to the friends that have stolen aspects of your personal style. There is also a interactive video, much like Burger King's subversive chicken, that allows you to annoy Coca-Cola's attorney and watch his wonderfully odd reactions. Perhaps the most amusing aspect of the site is the collection of videos featuring awkward looking executives trying to convince "real" attorney's that they have a case for suing themselves (note: the site claims that 3 of the attorney's are NOT actors... I pray for their sake that this is indeed the case).

I'll admit that there are some weaknesses to this execution and it does still seem a tad contrived at times but bravo for Coca-Cola for taking a risk here. It is rare for a global brand this huge to take a step back and make fun of themselves. Kudos to the agency/marketing team that managed to sell this one through. This also reinforces a point I just read today in The Big Moo in regards to innovative thinking:

"The hard truth is, there aren't any new ideas. There are only new applications and smart twists on old ones. So if you want to be in the great-idea business, one way to increase your flow of ideas is to steal them."