Coke Continues “Idol” Sponsorship Online

Coca Cola Co. is looking to continue to cash in on its sponsorship of Fox’s “American Idol” television phenomenon with an online effort that will offer prizes from the series and pop-music-related giveaways.

Beginning Sept. 30, the three-month-long campaign will urge young consumers to buy specially-marked Coca-Cola bottles for a chance at receiving a bottle cap imprinted with a code. The codes are redeemable at the Atlanta-based beverage giant’s CokeMusic.com site, and they can be used in entering giveaways.

Up for grabs will be the red couches from the show’s Coca-Cola Red Room, trips to Jazz Fest in New Orleans and the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, and a host of music-related goodies.

Coke said it plans to support the contest with national print, online and radio advertising, and with in-store point-of-sale displays.

Several features are designed to differentiate the contest from other online promotions. For one thing, if a player doesn’t win a particular prize, their points are returned to them for reallocation to another contest.

Participants also will be able to know how many other players have entered a particular drawing, thereby allowing them to “bet” only on contests that they stand a chance of winning.

“We have added some game theory to the promotion,” said Betsy Pyle Armentrout, brand manager for the soft drink. “If you see a couple of MP3 players among the prize items, and one has 800 entries and the other has 600, you can enter to win the one with 600 because your odds of winning are higher. Consumers have told us that they want some control over their odds, and this program helps them do that.”

CokeMusic.com also will give away additional points beginning on Oct. 8, when it unveils an interactive game show, dubbed “Pop Quiz.” The show allows users to customize their online characters and answer questions in return for points.

The promotion is the latest promotional vehicle using CokeMusic.com, which launched in June and features music downloads and streaming radio using a branded media player.

It’s also the latest music-related online promotion for Coca Cola. Since summer, the company has been running a promotion with Clear Channel that packaged Coca Cola with discount coupons (“Coke Concert Cash”) to select concerts nationwide.

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