Lots of chatter in online communities on this one – mostly from marketing people, not teens though:


The “Sprite Yard” is the first “community-to-go” that combines photo sharing, message board, planner, and digital downloads in one simple interface for mobile phones

ATLANTA, June 6, 2007 – The

Coca-Cola Company is redefining the relationship between consumers and their sparkling beverages with the launch of the Sprite Yard, a real-time digital “on-the-go” community that provides social connections and downloadable content via their mobile phone anytime, anywhere. This mobile marketing breakthrough launched in China on June 1st and will go live in the US later this month.

The Sprite Yard creates an entertaining social experience beyond the value of traditional online destinations by providing consumers constant mobile, social and brand connectivity through mobile devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Accessing the Sprite Yard is easy and simple. Anyone with a WAP enabled phone and access to a data plan can join the Yard. Beginning June 22, U.S. consumers can text “YARD” to 59666 (“Lymon”) and receive a reply with a WAP link to access the Sprite Yard for the fist time. Clicking the link directs the mobile device to the “Yard” where they are invited to register by selecting a tag name and password. As soon as they are registered, users can opt to create a profile to share information about themselves with their friends in the Yard.

Coke use Sprite a lot as a testing ground for different viral and social marketing endeavours. I doubt that a walled garden is the way to go though. Have they ever worked? Still it’s standard i the mobile content world (at the moment) :

The Sprite Yard will also feature exclusive downloadable content – from visitones (visual ringtones that combine music with visuals) to mobisodes (animated shorts) – that can only be unlocked through a PIN found under the cap of every 20 oz. Sprite bottle, providing a fresh, engaging experience with each purchase.

visitones? mobisodes? Sounds like someone from marketing got their hands on it. 😛
Well, they got this part right:

“We know that when it comes to reaching teens, mobile is the medium. This program will enable us to connect with teens by putting Sprite both in their hand and in their phone,” adds Denis Sison, Sprite Global Brand Director, The

Coca-Cola Company. “We can provide them ‘instant gratification’ through ever-changing content and the ability to immediately receive new information and entertainment.”

Lots of discussion on this fact…:

On June 1, The Coca-Cola Company launched the Sprite Yard in China. The China consumer experience contains similar features and functionality including, compelling content, community, instant messaging and mobile blogging. The program was tested through a partnership with McDonalds, where consumers received PIN codes at the restaurants with purchase. By the end of 2008, the Sprite Yard will be introduced in several additional markets globally.

… centering on obesity in the States and how soda contributes to it. Check out such as Cell Rants for examples of the concerns.

What do you think? For me, when it comes to mobile social networks, I say “hell yeah! Supersize me!” 🙂