Tuesday, September 30, 2003

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.

Kids, swear to Christ, we're all gonna be wearing fucking transponder collars in the next couple of years. BMW gonna's beam their webmovies straight into your cerebral cortex, RJ Reynolds nicotine-injectors will send a jolt right to your brain from a pump in your ass and your TIME subscription will be superimposed on the retina of your dominant eye. Not to sound too Luddite, but it well may be the time to smash the machines.

Okay, just like last time: get all your flammables, bottles, wicks and lighters and we saddle up behind the Jiffy Lube in fifteen.

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