While two brothers will square off for a chance to win the Super Bowl trophy, much of the focus Sunday will not be on the gridiron. In the field of public opinion, it’s the commercials that matter most. This year’s ads are expected to be more interactive than ever as people will have food in one hand and their tablet or smartphone in another. However, some experts say you need to think twice before you let the advertisers win you over.
Coke is asking you to log onto Coke Chase to determine the outcome of its ad. The commercial features three characters as they make their way through the hot desert in pursuit of an ice cold bottle of Coca-Cola. You can choose who receives the Coke. Your options include the cowboys, showgirls, or badlanders. There is even a hashtag so you can join the conversation for the Coke Chase. At the end of the game, the winner will be revealed in another commercial.
Plus, if you “like” or follow the Coke Chase you will get an undisclsed reward at the end of the game. I wonder what that will be. Maybe a Coke? Here’s the part that worries some consumer advocates. The first 50,000 people who vote and register at MyCokeRewards will receive a thank you coupon for a free Coke, Diet Coke, or Coke Zero.
The Consumer Law Center said, “What people don’t realize is that when they create an on-line account, they are giving the host-company permission to sell that information to anybody who asks. Unfortunately, for the unsuspecting consumer, there is no law that prohibits the host company from sharing or selling your information to ANYbody for ANY purpose.”
Since you willingly signed up, that’s considered an inquiry so the Consumer Law Center said the company then has the right to contact you for the next 90 days under the Federal Trade Commission’s telemarketing sales rule. The question is — is it worth it for a free Coke?
These are questions you should ask yourself anytime you sign up for a promotion. Even if you don’t sign up, you need to consider if it’s worth it to give up your social media space to promote a company. To win a chance to next year’s halftime show, Pepsi wants you to Tweet a hashtag. The more you Tweet the more clues you will unlock the inside track to winning a trip. What’s the chance of wining that trip? Is it worth it to continually retweet just for the chance of winning something?