With the Olympic Opening Ceremonies this Friday I thought I would take a look around at the avalanche of advertising that would accompany the games. I started with the major international sponsors and found only Coca-Cola had anything of interest with their We8/Design the World a Coke project. We8 stands for “West/East 8”. The West/East comes from them having this project be an east/west creative expression where Coke has enlisted eastern pop artists and techno DJ’s to musically interpret visual bottle designs by noteworthy Chinese artists. The 8 then comes from the fact that each design is based on one of eight different themes including peace on Earth and individual perseverance. The resulting work will be featured on aluminum collector’s edition bottles and the designs and music will also be included in an eight-city world tour.
The supporting microsite lets you see the resulting work of these artists and the ability to down the designs as wallpaper and music as ringtones. When I saw the concept I knew what was coming next and indeed found the “Design Your Own” bottle section. The interface allows you to place various color, elements and patterns on to 2 dimensional checkerboard that is then mapped to a 3D rotating bottle. I have to be honest that as I designed the bottle I was strongly reminded of PaperCritters.com that allowed you to create similar 3D objects but it launched a year ago. I also found the Paper Critters interface to be much better and ultimately more engaging as it let you design directly onto the 3D object instead of this 2D/3D interface. When you have created your bottle you can then submit it to the gallery with your name, title and description where it can then be viewed and rated by the public.
So this is one of those cases where it is good to see a strong concept that combines artists creativity with an interactive element that allows for consumer participation but because of my perspective it just doesn’t feel that fresh or breakthrough. Like it or not it is a major judgment factor for interactive design as we all have to strive to break new ground. I have seen other sites that have do the 3D object creation better and have seen concepts like this before. I am going to keep trolling through all the Olympics hype to see if anything else is worth the time and if you see anything let me know.