As part of Google's Re:Brief project announced at South by Southwest, Coke offered refreshments to fans around the globe by refreshing its iconic "Hilltop" advertisement (in which consumers memorably sang "I want to buy the world a Coke and keep it company") through a suite of digital tools.
Consumers were able to literally enact the song lyrics featured during the original television spot by gifting an actual can of soda to someone else on the other side of the world via a technology-enabled vending machine. The digital tools that drove the campaign, which would have been considered science fiction in 1971, identified a gifter's geography based on that person's computer IP address and then virtually connected him or her with a thirsty gift recipient across the globe who was at a connected vending machine.
Before gifting the soda, consumers were able to create a video or picture message via webcam or photo upload, add a custom text message, and then hit "send" to watch their sodas travel across Google Earth to the waiting consumer. On the ground, the high-tech vending machine displayed the associated personal greeting and the city from where the coke had been "given."
In addition to the "Hilltop" commercial, the Re:Brief effort by Google reimagined three campaigns including Alka-Seltzer's "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" spot, Avis' "We try harder" campaign, and a 1963 Volvo campaign with the tag "Drive it like you hate it." Funded entirely by Google, Project Re:Brief is a Google marketing effort aimed to reimagine the original creative briefs of iconic marketing campaigns while simultaneously highlighting a suite of Google's products, including Google Maps, Google Mobile, Google Translate, YouTube, and Gmail.
Click here for a detailed look at how the campaign worked.