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Coca-Cola signals beacon's hyper-targeting promise with interactive attraction guide

Coca-Cola is equipping its World of Coca-Cola attraction with beacons this summer that work with a new mobile application for unlocking location-based content around specific areas.

The mobile app is part of the new ?Moments of Happiness? campaign that the soda giant is rolling out to trigger some engagement to the throngs of visitors that the attraction brings in during the summer months. The iPhone app will be rolled out during Memorial Day weekend.

?The app is just one part of what we?re doing for summer ? we also introduced our new short film, ?Moments of Happiness,? as well as a new special exhibit featuring works by folk artist Howard Finster,? said Jacquie Wansley, group marketing manager at the World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta.

?At the same time, we?re celebrating our seventh anniversary with a special ticket offer for guests,? she said. ?The idea behind all of this is that we want to offer more ways for our guests to experience and interact with the World of Coca-Cola, and the mobile app is a big part of that.?

Mobile travel companion
Enabling Bluetooth technology within Coca-Cola?s new app will serve up location-based information to visitors while they are specific spots within the attraction.

For example, walking around a certain areas unlock in-app photo content with custom frames and backdrops that visitors can pose within.

Additionally, facts about the soda giant related to each point of the attraction are pulled up within the app.

Beacons will also trigger a digital journal to be pulled up at a specific location once consumers have gone through the attraction?s beverage lounge to keep track of their favorite flavors.

Coca-Cola?s ?World of Coca-Cola? also offers Wi-Fi within the confines of the attraction.

Bluetooth and beacons have created quite the stir in the past year with the introduction of Apple?s iBeacon technology with the promise to finally deliver on mobile?s ability to target messages to consumers at precise locations in bricks-and-mortar stores.

In the case of Coca-Cola?s app, what is interesting is that the location-based messaging will supposedly change depending on which part of the attraction consumers are near.

If Coca-Cola?s app is able to deliver on this, it could be a significantly big deal in the mobile space. Apple also promised the same type of hyper-targeted messages within its retail stores when iBeacon originally last year, but only pushed consumers one standard push notification (see story). 

Aside from the Bluetooth features, the app also serves as a map to guide consumers through the different areas of the attraction and pulls in social elements from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Apps form the cornerstone of Coca-Cola?s mobile strategy. In fact, the company recently rolled out several new app initiatives for the upcoming FIFA World Cup and a FreeStyle program that syncs with free-standing drink fountains (see story). 

Mobile, social photo-sharing
At the same time, Coca-Cola and McDonald?s are also teaming up on a mobile photo-sharing promotion this summer.

The brands will post a number of challenges on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the microsite asking consumers to take a picture in specific way that can then be uploaded and shared on social media via the #CokeGrabSummerSweeps hashtag.

A My Coke Rewards Beta account is required to participate in the campaign, which can be linked up to one of the social networks on the campaign?s microsite.

Additional entries can be obtained by snapping a picture of a McDonalds $1 Any Size Coca-Cola product within the picture.

The ?Grab Summer By the Buck? sweepstakes runs through August 31, and the grand prize includes a five-night trip to Nassau, Bahamas.

Both the beacon-enabled app and photo-sharing contest indicate the big role that engagement plays in Coca-Cola's mobile strategy.

?Coke joins other major brands like Macy?s and Timberland in adopting beacon technology,? said Guillaume Lelait, San Francisco-based vice president of North America at Fetch.

Mr. Lelait is not affiliated with Coca-Cola. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

?A visitor at the World of Coca Cola might reach for their phone to text a friend, and, instead of removing themselves from the experience, receive a prompt to take a photo with a specialized Coke banner which they would share instead,? he said. ?This technology brings a new level of engagement to consumers, during a very active and eventful season.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York