Assessing Coke’s Virtual Thirst Project: Win, Fail, or Just Another SL Dud?

by Alphaville Herald on 22/11/07 at 1:32 am

Broken Crayons: Was The Virtual Thirst Contest The Last Gasp of the Crayonistas?

by Urizenus Sklar

I don’t know, I’m asking. I missed the event announcing the winner of the Coke Virtual Thirst Contest, and I don’t know how that event went down. As I disclosed earlier I was on an advisory panel for Coke and the Crayonista marketing company where my advice — 1 million L in prize money and that they protect the IP rights of the winner — did not have uptake. I was also one of the contest judges. I’m guessing there were 80 to 100 entries and a lot of them were impressive and showed considerable effort. I don’t know what participation levels they were looking for but they generated a nontrivial number of entries at least. Here is the eventual winner:

This seemed like a particularly important hypervent for SL because it involved a very serious new media marketing company working for a big time advertiser in Coke, and I felt they were making a genuine effort to figure out how to approach SL in a way that avoided the usual fare of ghost islands and empty monolithic buildings. How should we assess this effort: win? fail? learning and E for effort?

Meanwhile, for those of you who missed it, Crayon has relauched as a “conversational marketing company”, or as one less charitable blogger put it: “gone out of business“. Whatever you want to call it, Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson, Steve Coulson, Gary Cohen, and C.C. (“I’m done coloring“) Chapman have all left Crayon. Whatever the future of Crayon in SL (if any), it seems like Joseph Jaffe hasn’t given up on SL, claiming that the problem with marketing efforts in SL is not the medium of SL per se, but rather with the creativity of the marketing types. Well, maybe.

As for me, I had a bad nostalgia attack for the days when we dumped on them for their launch and then the Herald and the Crayonistas got to talk smack to each other and let’s not forget the Cardie Mahoney scandal. In the end of course we became good buds, and I wish them all well. They definitely gave us something to write about.

In Memory…

17 Responses to “Assessing Coke’s Virtual Thirst Project: Win, Fail, or Just Another SL Dud?”

  1. Artemis Fate

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    Haha even the wholesome Coca-Cola event has strippers in Second Life.

  2. Rape-Ape

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    “Win, Fail, or Just Another SL Dud?”

    Nice to see you fags finally picking up our vocabulary, like the English every time they were invaded.

  3. C.C. Chapman

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    I know an invitation went out since I sent it. Maybe Cardie intercepted it so she could play more in the basement? Not sure.

    There is a list of the locations where people can find the prize bottles and play with them at if people are curious to check them out in world.

    Thanks for always being you Uri.

  4. Joseph Jaffe

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    I expressly gave orders to apprehend you if you came within 500 cubic feet of crayonville Island. :) We missed you at the event and I also missed being able to attend your book launch…wish I could have made it and hope it does really well.

    Uri – it’s been a pleasure. Truly. Without you, we would never have earned our name, “crayonistas”

    crayon (despite the speculation of a green “student”) is still around and the relationship and friendship with folks like Shel, Neville, Steve, Gary and CC etc. are still in tact. Like the companies we advise on how to embrace change and experiment, so too did we. We made mistakes along the way…and we had successes.

    I will *always* look back at my baby, “Virtual Thirst”, with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Where others remained on the sidelines, we participated and we experienced a glimpse of what is to come in a world where static, one-dimensional browsers will be usurped by dynamic, multi-dimensional virtual environments.

    See ya on the flipside, my friend.

  5. humanoid

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    Considering this is the first time I’ve heard of it, I’d say fail.

  6. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    “Win, Fail, or Just Another SL Dud?”


  7. Nacon

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    Dun Dun Dun Dud.

    (Gotta love Beethoven.)

  8. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 22nd, 2007

    I think it was a win all the way around, for Uri, for the Crayonistas, for Coke, for Second Life. This is how we roll in the insult culture, folks.

    In fact, donning my tinfoil hat, I was convinced it was all a plot from the very get-go, that the Crayonistas plotted and planned ingeniously, and paid Uri to insult them as “fucktards” — knowing that with the anti-corporate culture among a minority of influential geeky FICs in Second Life, and the general culture of insolence on the Internet these days, they’d get static no matter what they did.

    So they created a unique, ultra-modern ad-campaign which was like an anti-ad campaign, in order to a) get *some* ink (even a bad review is a good review) b) fuse and control the lightning, make Uri/the Herald be a lightning rod.

    Brilliant, eh? Hey, I bet they really did this. Right? Right, Uri?

  9. Annomouse

    Nov 23rd, 2007

    I thought coke folded up and left LOL
    LONG way from a win lol

  10. davidcaulson

    Nov 23rd, 2007

    I have to comment here, Virtual Thirst is a total joke. If as they’ve stated, its all about getting it out by using channels like YouTube etc. Well this campaign has failed, there is another Second Life project listed, one thats attracted 10x larger audience?!

    Anyone know who did the Happiness Factor Second Life film, I know its not Crayon (aggresive geeks who are a total let down at conferences) or MoU (you know we all used to run Linden Lab?)

    Do your own search on Youtube, see for yourself (use the keywords: second life coke)

    20,000 views… vs 2,000 of Virtual Thirst?!

  11. Archie Lukas

    Nov 23rd, 2007

    Sorry what?

    I fell asleep it was that exciting……

  12. winner

    Nov 23rd, 2007

    this blog is a dud.

  13. urizenus

    Nov 23rd, 2007

    CC and Joseph, I was sorry I didn’t make the event. If Cardie was there I am doubley sorry.

    Prok opines thus: “In fact, donning my tinfoil hat, I was convinced it was all a plot from the very get-go, that the Crayonistas plotted and planned ingeniously, and paid Uri to insult them as “fucktards”"

    Well Prok, as you know it takes a lot to keep the Herald yacht in the water. I’m not above dropping a few F-bombs to make that happen.

  14. plot tracer

    Nov 24th, 2007

    Coke- ffs people, another company on sl treated like messiahs. This is a company that has subsiduaries that have drained villages of water, use children as labour and facilitated rightfwing terrorist groups in th killing of union members. I hope the next “event” is advertised wider because I will be there telling people about how the endorsement of this product is killing fathers, mothers and children.

  15. Prokofy Neva

    Nov 24th, 2007

    Plot Tracer is wheeling out his rabid, hysterical left-wing propaganda again.

    It’s good to read even the Nation, or Amnesty International, or the Columbia University newspaper, or any number of other more credible sources than this fake campaign.

    The campaign revolves around the killing of a trade union activist in Colombia, where 4,000 trade union activists have been killed — just to put the story in a context where the government, not Coke is the killer of train union activists, by supporting right-wing paramilitaries. It’s a legitimate case, and quite legitimately the subject of an alien torts lawsuit in Florida to which American groups and labor unions have joined. Does this mean Coca Cola is responsible for the murder of trade union activists? No. As the other sources frame the story more accurately: it’s a stretch to go from saying Coke benefits from docile workforces to saying they (or rather, the bottling companies with which they are affiliated) actually orchestrate murders.

    Like the rabid Nestle’s campaign, this kind of rabid propaganda isn’t really about concern for labour rights — the kind of rights that Soviet-style regimes which the communists remain uncritical of are famous themselves for suppressing. It’s about trying to give capitalism a black eye by tendentiously picking out big targets to which they can try to tie the crimes of other actors, merely because those big targets are more accessible to them than a murderous Latin American force that, were they to target it directly, would target *them*. I think it’s a pretty unethical thing to do. Coke doesn’t drain villages of water or exploit children or collude with right-wing terrorist groups as some kind of blanket practice; it doesn’t even demonstrably do this even in one case, which is still at trial.

    When the hard left stops playing this kind of infantile game and stops using such facile propaganda, trying to sell it to gullible students, they might have more followers.

  16. plot tracer

    Nov 24th, 2007

    Prok- you stupid tosh I suppose, belongs to Second Life, because you are definitely living a life outside the ken of reality.

    Last year I met with Trade Unionists from a Coke plant in Colombia. I also met the wife of a murdered Union representative. Their experiences have been absolutely diabolical. Coke say that the Coke bottling plants have nothing to do with them, yet Coke US own 30 percent of stock- and I can assure you – the security around their colombian bottlers means that no-one gets into the plant without their knowledge – including the right wing terrorists who go in and murder those who ask for the kind of rights US workers have.

    Propaganda? Ffs, Prok, grow up. But of course Coke does not use child labour and has nothing to do with murder- even though British journalist, Mark Thomas PROVED these allegations on Brit tv last week. But before you say it, of course, we in the Soviet of Britland would be biased, wouldn’t we?

    Oh- and if people _ARE_ interested, Nestle have been cited by the UN and UNICEF again to be using questionable practices in the two thirds world.

    But I guess Prok has shares in these companies and her fat arse needs feeding, so fuck the poor.

  17. plot tracer

    Nov 24th, 2007

    Just in case you have censored your pc from picking up any criticism of your portfolio Prok, here is a simple wee search for you. Perhaps my search engines are switched to “stalinist” and that’s why they pick up stuff that is critical of the present profit before people system. Or perhaps, to quote “The White Rose”, I don’t wish “to be silent. We are your bad conscience. (we) will not leave you in peace.”
    Remember- Coke sponsored the Hitler Youth. Wholesome.

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