Today Coca-Cola, crayon and Millions of Us held a mixed-reality event in Atlanta and on crayonville Island to unveil the winner of Virtual Thirst, a competition that invited Second Life residents to design virtual vending machines that dispense not cans of Coke but the "essence of Coca-Cola." The winning entry -- designed by Ann Marie Mathis / Emerie May -- is a series of "Puzzle Bottles" that dispense cool interactive experiences and Coke-branded virtual gifts.
We had a great crowd (in both the real world and the virtual one) who genuinely seemed psyched to see what Coca-Cola had in store. I could give you the blow-by-blow but instead take a look at this video clip for the details.
[Feed and email readers click through for the video.]
If you missed the event but want to hear the presentation, you can download an MP3 here (right click and save to your hard drive.)
Now that the Coca-Cola Puzzle Bottles have been unveiled, the program enters a new phase -- one powered entirely by the Second Life community.
Puzzle solvers can copy the prizes they receive and gift them to their friends, land owners can place bottles on their property and the interactive experiences can be shared by anyone that happens to be nearby when a resident solves a puzzle. In other words, rather than taking the standard marketer approach of sinking money into an island and hoping to attract residents to visit the brand, Coke is giving residents the power to distribute the Coca-Cola brand essence throughout Second Life, wherever and however they see fit.
But enough talk -- why not check out the Coca-Cola Puzzle Bottles for yourself. You can find the first three at the following locations:
Puzzle Bottle Type 1:
Puzzle Bottle Type 2:
Puzzle Bottle Type 3: