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Indiana University Bloomington

Kelley Executive Partners

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Coca Cola - North and West Africa

The Client

14 C-level executives from Coca Cola North Africa including marketing, legal, operations, and human resources. Curt Furgeson, president of Coke North Africa, and an IU KSB alum initiated the project

The Challenge

Coke asked KEP for an experience that covered the following elements: exposure to new technology for internal and external use, new team collaboration techniques, and exposure to new marketing approaches that would aid in reaching the 18-25 year-old market in their region.  We constructed a multi-layered experiential learning experience matching exposure to new social media technologies (mobile, micro-blogs, consumer created content, blogs, wikis, GPS, etc) with a collaborative Alternate Reality Game (ARG). Participants were required to work in teams to solve puzzles and accomplish tasks utilizing their teammates and the technology.

A Coke participant gets help solving a puzzle from one of the actors.

The Program

To truly understand the impact of new technologies on the way we work and the way we market, we believe you have to experience them. Twitter, for example, makes little sense at first glance but in practice can become a powerful way to connect with consumers and peers. Alternate Reality Games are a bleeding-edge method to engage customers in a brand in a genuine way that associates the product with a positive experience shared with other consumers. Rather than passively receiving a company’s message, the ARG encouraged Coke's participants to engage and contribute. The game allowed the Coke participants to reflect on their strategies as a team. They could cooperate or compete. They could allow one person to do all the work or share the burden based on their skills. We were also able to illuminate some of the cultural differences in the members of the team and how those differences both enhanced and complicated their work.