Friday, April 11, 2008

Does My Avatar Need a Night Out?

I’m bemused by the fact that I’m even asking that question—but it is Friday, after all! The avatar in question is the one I could create on the Burn Alter Ego application on Facebook. It’s a promotion for an energy drink that Coke is marketing in Europe. Like all these drinks, some of the contents, in addition to the huge jolt of caffeine and well-known ginsing, are a bit scary. However, the sleep-deprived young demographic has been consuming high-caffeine drinks for many years and no doubt will continue to do so.
The promotion is another Facebook app—does the parade ever end? Last week Media Post’s Cathy Taylor invited readers to sign up and give the application a workout. This week she reports that a fair number of people seem to have signed up to either participate or observe what happens. She’s soliciting comments and will write it up in her blog in a couple of weeks.

So here’s the application. You can create an avatar and send it to enjoy evenings out with other avatars and report back. Presumably you can meet some nice avatars that way. If you don’t want to play the game, there’s a video on the Facebook page that gives you a good sense of what it’s all about, and the video is worth looking at.

I’ve pointed out before that Coke has been experimenting in the social media space. One assumes that as they do so, they learn more about what works. The Burn Alter Ego isn’t my thing—but then I’m not part of the target market for the very-high-octane energy drinks. The young people who are the target market are also the ones who just might like to have a party avatar. I’d encourage you to keep an eye on this promotion and see where Coke goes with in, first in Europe and perhaps later in the US.
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2 comments:

Bryan Kilpatrick said...

I had to write regarding this subject. The first time I heard the word "Avatar" was on a TV commercial, I had no idea what it was. After watching the class this week I must say that I feel out of the loop. I sat listening to the guest speaker, who I will have to honestly say was not that captivating, talk about a virtual world on the Internet. I wondered with an open mind if this might be the next big thing on the Web, something that I should learn much more about and use it to my advantage. Try as I might I just don't get it. The idea that someone would go online to create a character to live vicariously through seems beyond my comprehension. And to think people would spend real money on this fake person blows my mind. I now look at the once seemingly innocent SIMS game that my daughter plays with new eyes. I would bet my life that 80% of the Internet users will not be operating within a virtual world online, no way. I hate to be so black and white about anything but this idea is way out there. I will of course use this opportunity to investigate it further but at this time I can say that the virtual Internet, as I see it now, is a bit overwhelming!

Mary Lou Roberts said...

As much time as I spend at this, Bryan, so do I sometimes. So much so that I may write a post about it soon.
Two responses to your comment--which I think a lot of people emphasize with. First, I love having parents reading this blog. Take a look at Alisa's comment on the issue of children and virtual worlds http://diy-marketing.blogspot.com/2008/04/more-virtual-worlds-for-children.html?showComment=1207818480000#c1704286037817428943.
Second was a conversation a friend yesteray that involved a lot of catching up on what the other is doing. Re social media, she asked, "How do people have time to do all this stuff?" Which, I think, may be the question of the hour; a lot of us just don't have the time it takes to "get it," even if we have the motivation!
MLR