Friday, July 22, 2005

How not to do mobile marketing. Lesson 2, Coca Cola.

oh dear oh dear oh dear.

You'd think Coca Cola, with all its experience in running mobile marketing campaigns would get it right wouldn't you? Their latest campaign is an on-pack promotion offering free 'coketags' (which is basically Shazam rebranded) and music downloads. And it's a pretty good concept - get your code from the pack, enter it online for a chance to win ringtones and coketags. Relatively simple? One would have thought.

So I gave it a go and lost a couple of times, but I persevered (I like Coke you see!) until I eventually won a free ringtone. The trouble is I wasn't able to download it. I clicked on the link and got a communication error. OK, this happens. So I tried again a couple of days later only to find that the system thought I'd already downloaded the ringtone, which I hadn't. Very disappointing.

As I work in the industry, I put this down to serendipity - very often when I test out other people's campaigns, and if there's a bug, I usually find it. This doesn't appear to happen to *real* customers in the same way. So I figured that it might be a one-off.

Then a couple of weeks back, when running one of my mobile marketing sessions for the IDM, we were discussing current mobile marketing campaigns and the Coke one came up. And a couple of people in the room had given it a go, and one of them had exactly the same problem as I had.

Ok, so technical fulfilment can be tricky sometimes. It's technology, it's not perfect.

But then I get this message yesterday at 15:44:

From: Coca-Cola [no reply path]

"Last chance 2 win ringtones or music downloads in Coke promo. All who entered in last 2 wks won. Last draw Jul 24@3pm. Pick up promo pack now. Rply stop 2 unsub" 160 characters.

Except, that I can't reply stop to unsubscribe because there's no reply path. D'oh.

I wondered if they bothered testing any of this stuff before it went live?

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The image is from Ohio University's advertising archive.