Soda Firm Takes Aim at Soda Goliath, Coke, on Facebook

Bottle-free beverage company SodaStream is counting on organic social media marketing to get the word out about its environmentally-themed challenge targeting Coca-Cola. The company aims to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic bottle pollution through a “Cage Challenge” on Facebook and an “Unbottle the World” day on July 16.

The Cage Challenge campaign started only two weeks ago and has nearly 130,000 likes on Facebook. A recent post on The Cage Challenge Facebook page encourages users to send a message to Coke, asking them to take responsibility for the waste their bottles create. The feature, launched today, allows users to send a virtual “message in a bottle” to Coke.

“For every virtual bottle you send, we will send back a real used bottle we found in a landfill to Coke HQ in Atlanta,” states the Unbottle the World page. That component of the campaign has garnered 670 virtual bottles in the few hours since launch.

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Photos of real-life “Cage Exhibits” – fenced-in piles of empty bottles installed in various countries – dot the Facebook page. The structures are intended to highlight the amount of plastic bottles and cans the average family throws away over three or five year periods.

The company is not running any ads to promote the challenge. “It is a social movement and it is fully carried by power of real people without any old-school advertising,” a SodaStream spokesperson told ClickZ in an email.

sodastreamBy targeting the best-known beverage brand in the world, SodaStream’s campaign appears to be gaining publicity. A “cease and desist” letter was sent to SodaStream from Coca-Cola asking the company to remove their products from the outdoor marketing campaign. SodaStream refused to comply and took the campaign digital. The company is attempting to create an “Unbottle the World” day on July 16.

With that day quickly approaching, SodaStream plans to unveil 20 new cage exhibits around the world soon. The firm is also trying to work with the UN to create an international “bottle-free day” to raise awareness about the environmental impact of plastic bottles.

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