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GPS and Coke Cans

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:21 pm    Post subject: GPS and Coke Cans Reply with quote

I just read an article on a contest next summer where coke plans to put a GPS type device in a winning can so they can find the winner. Any thoughts? Site is slashdotted(/.) so I will post article contents below.

ATLANTA -- Here's a way to really target a consumer.

Next summer, Coca-Cola plans to use satellites to find U.S. buyers who happen to purchase special cans of Coke products.

They will be winners in a giveaway that will feature Hummer H2 sport-utility vehicles. The giant vehicles will be presented in person, using satellites to locate the recipients. And in a promotion tied to the Summer Olympics, Coke's prize is likely to be $1 million in gold, again awarded on the spot.

The promotions, described in a proposal that has been circulated within the Coke system, are a twist for the beverage maker, because of both the technology involved and the splashy prizes.

Coke spokesman Mart Martin declined to provide details about the promotions, which remain months away. "We are still in the process of finalizing our plans," he said.

But U.S. Coke bottlers have learned quite a bit about them. Last week in Australia, Coke unveiled a similar plan. Dubbed Thrill Seeker, it is tied to the Rugby World Cup finals, scheduled for October and November.

Thrill Seeker uses satellite tracking to locate winners. The prizes are Peugeot cars and $10,000.

Summertime prizes are common in the soft-drink world, given that they help stir interest during an important selling season. This year's summer promotion from Pepsi, for example, touted a potential prize of $1 billion. (It wasn't won, by the way.)

The oddity of Coke's promotion revolves around how winners will get their prizes. The cans used will be equipped with Global Positioning System transponders.

In Canada, Coors used a "Tracker Bottle" in Quebec in 2001 and 2002. The program spread to all of Canada last summer.

That experience should indicate the tracking system will work. Coke doesn't want a repeat of 1990, when the much-touted "Magic Can" promotion turned out to be a mess. In that case, Coke put cash in cans, but many malfunctioned.
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