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Coca-Cola and Facebook get touchy with Israeli teens

Tagging the youth for fun and profit

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Coca-Cola is offering wrist bands to those attending the Village festival in Israel so they can update their Facebook status with a tap of the hand.

That tap has to be against one of the huge "Like" buttons Coca-Cola has erected around the site, though tags are recorded as youth pass the festival gates too, so organisers can see who is where and attendees can be sure that every moment is captured on Facebook.

The tags, modelled on Coca-Cola bottle tops, are optional, though the RFID Journal reports that the offer was accepted by all those attending the (alcohol-free) series of events that Coca-Cola sponsors.

Ten Coca-Cola Villages were held this year, each consisting of three days of swimming, music, stand-up comedy and sports. A total of 6,500 teenagers went along, though the supporting Facebook page has 55,000 signed up.

Not only could attendees automatically update their status with such gems as "I got the best massage of my life at Coca-Cola Village" while leaving the festival spa, but staff wandered around the events with digital cameras, taking photographs that could be instantly uploaded to Facebook by tapping the wrist against a portable reader.

The project was a huge success, with attendees happily providing free advertising for Coca-Cola, while organisers appreciated being able to see how many people were looking for food, or attending a particular performance - no doubt that data will be examined carefully when considering the line-up for next year.

Facebook Places might make this kind of approach redundant, though the wristbands (which were collected and reused) provide a nicely physical interaction, not to mention sharing location data the festival organisers as well as the rest of the world. Attendees don't seem worried that everyone will know where they were, after all - the Coca-Cola Village is the cool place to be. ®

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