Monday, September 13, 2010

Coke adds life?

There's a bit of a debate going on Osocio's comments thread about this post regarding Kia Canada's new "Corporate Social Responsibility" campaign. Some readers are pointing out (and not without justification) that a car campaign dressed up as goodwill has no place on a social marketing blog.

Ironically, whenever I read the comments, I am confronted with this banner ad just below:

On surface, ColaLife is  an interesting concept:

We are working to get Coca-Cola to open up their distribution channels in developing countries to carry 'social products', such as oral rehydration salts to save children's lives. You can by a Coca-Cola virtually anywhere but one in five children die before their fifth birthday. This moratlity rate has not changed significantly over the last three decades which indicates that we need to look for new options like ColaLife.

The problem is, they haven't done anything yet. But here's how it works:

And, while ColaLife associates itself with Coca-Cola, it's actually lobbying Coke to sign on to this project, open up their distribution channels, and provide seed funding. And they're looking to public fundraising for sustainability.

It's a brilliant idea, piggybacking on one of the most robust distribution systems in the world to get medical supplies to the far corners of the third world with an elegantly simple solution:

They're driven. They're very organized. But I wonder just how much Coke is going to want to take them along for the ride.

If you'd like to help these social entrepreneurs, you can donate online.

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