I’ve written before about the emerging issues involving the use of trademarks in so-called virtual reality. There’s been a lot of buzz on the Internet lately about whether, and if so, how, one of the world’s most valuable trademarks has been authorized for use on virtual reality leader Second Life. A blog called reBang gets on the phone with Coca-Cola and claims to have gotten to the bottom of the fizzy bottle:
First off, my understanding from our conversation is that no one should expect any official guidance from Coca-Cola. Additionally, I was informed that Coca-Cola simply doesn’t want an intermediary policing their brand for them. Nor do they want to interfere with the in-world economy when people are using their brand in ways that do not adversely impact them.Okay. So that part makes good, reasonable sense to me. But there’s more.
For those people who feel the need to use the Coca-Cola trade dress in ways that are detrimental to the brand’s reputation, Coca-Cola is more interested in establishing a dialog to help them understand why people want to attack them in the first place than they are in trying to stop them.
This is by far the smartest position I’ve seen a company take lately.
Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t think the competition could have been set up a little better, but the fact that they engaged the community, they adjusted (to some degree) after competition launch, and are now taking this extraordinary stance is, honestly, a welcome surprise to me. My hope now is that word will get out and other companies will follow their lead.
So much for the theory that old brands can’t learn new tricks.
It certainly is extraordinary, if it’s true.