Israeli Teens Swipe Wristbands to Update Facebook Status

'Like Machine' Lets Kids Share the Fun at Coca-Cola Village Summer Camp

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LONDON ( -- Coca-Cola is pioneering technology in Israel that allows users to automatically update their Facebook status by swiping a wristband across a reader.

The Coca-Cola Village has been a fixture of the summer scene in Israel for the last five years, inviting 600 to 800 teenagers at a time to stay for three days in a multimedia village where they can enjoy activities including riding horses, massage, rock concerts, stand-up comedy and sports.

Coca-Cola Village

This summer, thanks to the Like Machine, dreamed up by Enon Landenberg, joint CEO of Publicis E-dologic, the inhabitants of the village were able to use their wristbands to register that they "liked" a certain activity.

For example, a guest that likes the pool can place his or her band next to the readable device by the pool, and a Facebook message will automatically appear on his or her wall stating that her or she "liked" the pool at the village.

Photographers carrying portable reader devices were also out and about at the village. They took pictures of guests, which were then uploaded onto the Coca-Cola Village Facebook page, with a tag automatically in place.

The event was so popular this year that, according to E-dologic joint-CEO Doron Tal, 250,000 people claimed to have been there -- even though only 8,000 had the opportunity to experience it in real life. "They felt that they had been there because they could enjoy it through their friends by following their fun on Facebook," Mr. Tal said.

Last week, Diet Coke launched its first "Desert Camp" for young adults in their 20s and 30s. They could also use the Like Machine as they enjoyed luxury tents in the desert, watched rock bands and tasted food from a top Israeli chef.

To win a stay at the Coca-Cola Village, consumers have to register via Facebook in groups of eight and collect 80 bottle tops per group to enter. They also have to pay $50, but this includes all accommodation, food and activities. Ten sessions of three days each took place this year.

Mr. Tal said, "When Enon had the idea for the Like Machine, I thought it was too far-fetched, but we have some very talented and visionary people here. I try not to show off, but we have created a little revolution. Coca-Cola likes us to approach them with innovations."

Recently E-dologic created a site for Coca-Cola that lets users design their own cans, either by using the site's technology or by uploading their own photos or graphics. At the end of the promotion, 1,000 winners had a six-pack of Coke delivered to their doors bearing their own designs. Out of Israel's population of 7 million, 200,000 people entered the competition.

E-dologic works for Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Orange in Israel. Opened in 1999, it claims to be Israel's first digital agency. It was bought by Publicis Groupe in 2001 and has been working with Coca-Cola since 2000.

Mr. Tal said another E-dologic client has already signed up to do "an even bigger project" that uses the Like Machine technology.

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