Trying to avoid anything too saccharine over the festive period,
having already overdosed on chocolate and lychee martinis. However, we
couldn’t resist Coca-Cola’s latest Christmassy
effort. The giant
red-and-white-inventor-of-father-Christmas-as-we-know-it-if-you-believe-the-urban-myth
is sponsoring a page on YouTube that enables users to create their own holiday video cards to send around the world to absent friends. Picture_1_20

YouTube's ‘Holiday Wishcast’ site already features a collection of holiday-themed video clips from some of its most popular contributors including Geriatric1927, TerraNaomi, and LisaNova.
Users can choose from one of the videos in the Wishcast catalog or
upload one of their own after registering on YouTube. Coca-Cola’s own
e-cards and video contests feature heavily on the branded page, as well
as links to the online Coke shop and the ubiquitous polar bear. Some of
Coco-Cola’s iconic Christmas advertising can also be sent along as a
Wishcast.
www.youtube.com/greeting_browser

Speaking at the time of launch, Jamie Byrne,
YouTube's director of advertising strategy, said the company approached
Coke about developing a holiday-related promotion in the hope of capitalizing on the brand’s long-standing association with the
Christmas period. ‘We realized that to do something for the holidays
they would be a great partner for us,’ he said.

In the recent
furore following the uploading of copyrighted content to YouTube and
the gleeful joy of broadcasters now that they finally have someone to
sue (honestly. At Christmas and everything. Have they no heart?), it appears that brand involvement is even more important to Google
as they attempt to monetize this fascinating site. We’d genuinely hate
to see YouTube reduced to a sterile collection of sleeping kittens, yet
recent rumours of a collaboration between Fox, Viacom, CBS and NBC
to launch a rival service suggest that the site’s enchanting, chaotic
mix of user-generated content alongside professionally produced clips
might soon be redefined.

With this in mind, we’d like to
hazard the suggestion that the YouTube user community has as much of a
responsibility as anyone else in keeping the site up and running. It’s
simple - don’t scare wary advertisers away by vandalizing their pages,
and retain the right to upload what you want elsewhere. Fingers crossed
that YouTube remains the exciting and essential resource that we know
and love well into the future. 

In the meantime, B3TA granddaddy Rob Manuel has drawn our attention to what appears to be a bit of blatant plagiarism. In Argentina, Coca-Cola has produced a bit of advertising that bears a striking resemblance to the work of rathergood.com’s Joel Veitch. Check out the film Rob put together, and spot the difference if you can. It’s not easy.

www.robmanuel.com/2006/12/13/is-coke-ripping-off-the-little-guy

ON: Coke & YouTube via @jpenabickley