ColaLife Pods – what the frontline thinks

I have written so much about what has happened over the last two days but I have not quite finished or publshed anything yet (it will come). But the video below sums it all up. The context is as follows. Today I went out with Benito Xaverly, one of the Area Sales Manager for Dar Es Salaam. He’s a Business Administration graduate and until recently he worked for Pepsi. He had not heard of ColaLife before we got in the vehicle and started on our journey. We visited 7 of the 17 MDCs that he manages and I took the mock-up ColaLife Pods I made yesterday. Here they are in Coca-Cola crates. They fitted!

Here is the video. The first 1min 15secs is in Swahili as Benito explains the ColaLife idea to the people who work at the MDC. Then it breaks into English . . . . it’s very interesting what is said . . . .


Tomorrow I’m going to try and hook up with an NGO that operates locally that I think could help move this idea into a pilot phase: PSI Tanzania


  1. Simon, what an amazing trip. I enjoyed their response to your ideas so much, they get all the different aspects, to the benefits to the communities to the competitive advantage for Coke. Can’t help but feel that you may actually get something really meaningful done here!! 🙂

  2. Can anyone translate the Swahili? I only catch a few words: they are talking about putting medicine in the packets and distributing it out.

    When Benito breaks into English, his comments are very encouraging and practical. Here is a quote/paraphrase as some of it is hard to hear:

    ‘It’s a good idea, especially in Africa, the distribution of this medicine is very difficult. But the soda is being distributed very aggressively – it’s going to a lot of places… by doing this Coca-Cola will be doing Social Responsibility…. For me, this is a good idea (indicates the triangular package).. but to remove one bottle, this is a problem. Many people think ‘my sales are being reduced.. they are reducing my sales.’ ….

    Benito thinks the pakage would need to be waterproof, because of the rain. But it should be disposable. It will be too difficult to have it returned to the depo, but it would have to be made in plastic.
    Jane [ED]

  3. lol 2 very Tanzanian things – the mobile phone and don’t expect the things to come back 😉

    Is brilliant to see you taking the idea to the coalface and seeing the response. I’m sure there are plenty of good designers out there who’d be prepared to take on the challenge of creating something waterproof, disposable (or even better reusable in a different context such as a mosquito net), and that doesn’t mean having to lose a bottle which understandably would upset vendors.

  4. This is definitely ace front line social reporting! Spreading the word here

  5. Thanks David but you tought me all I know (and not just in social reporting!).

  6. Simon,

    This is great!

    Benito explaining the ColaLife idea to the people who work at the MDC and the discussion you guided, + listenning to the people in the field and finding the best approaches with them: brilliant!



  7. oops…. “listening” (not “listenning”) … I shouls write in Spanish 🙂 Let me try…

    ¡Simón, esto es fenomenal!

    La explicación de la campaña “Cola-Vida” compartida por Benito con las personas de MDC, la discusión que guiaste… y el escuchar a las personas de campo – para unidos encontrar las mejores estrategias – son métodos brillantes.




  1. Simon Berry says:

    ColaLife – what the frontline thinks of the idea – amazing video – let’s have YOUR comments (please) – – 🙂

  2. TessyBritton says:

    Amazing Colalife! @51m0n ColaLife – RT – what the frontline thinks of the idea – amazing video – 🙂

  3. Osocio says:

    RT @TessyBritton Amazing Colalife! @51m0n ColaLife – RT – what the frontline thinks of the idea – amazing video

  4. […] has been giving us regular reports via Twitter, and now with a blog post including video of a Simon chatting among the crates with distribution workers. One of the big […]

  5. […] So today I set myself the task of getting face to face with someone senior at PSI to facilitate future e-communications. I am grateful to Dr Jane Miller for squeezing me in at the end of what was undoubtedly a busy week. We had a very positive and constructive meeting and I am certain that now we’ve met the e-communications will flow. I showed her the pods and the video. […]

  6. […] ColaLife Pods – what the frontline thinks A discussion about the ColaLife pods outside a Manual Cistribution Centre (MDC) in Dar Es Salaam. This includes a ‘must see’ video! . […]

  7. […] a summary of what we found. There is an insightful video of the conversation at Freeman MDC here. Click on the images to see them in more detail on […]

  8. […] On Saturday, 27/12/08 the BBC ran a 10 minute feature on ColaLife updating the initial interview back in June on the BBC Radio 4 programme, iPM. It include bits from the original interview in June 2008, an update on progress and the vision from me and a clever audio cut from the frontline video filmed in Tanzania. […]

  9. […] in Tanzania I mocked up two types of ‘ColaLife’ pods and went out to get people’s reaction to them. The ‘wedge’ pod was much more popular than the ‘tube’, because the tube […]

  10. […] Anyway she must have kept the card and today she made contact. I called Grace and she says she has access to email so we are going to continue communicating that way. I hope she’ll be able to get to an internet connection to watch the video I took at the Freeman MDC. […]

  11. […] to Euan of Coca-Cola and the iPM team who can do magic with audio. This feature includes audio from the flip video I took on the frontline in Dar Es Salam in November 2008. Nice mash-up […]

  12. […] 27/11/08 Field trip with Benito Xaverly – ‘ColaLife Pods’ discussed on video >>more […]