SBD/Issue 94/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Super Bowl Ads: Coca-Cola Using Facebook To Help Promote Spots

One Of Coca-Cola's New Ads Features
Characters From Fox' "The Simpsons"
Coca-Cola is using its Facebook page to help promote its two 60-second ads that will debut during CBS’ coverage of Super Bowl XLIV. Visitors to Facebook.com/livepositively who send a virtual Coca-Cola bottle to other users will receive a 20-second preview of one of the two new spots. Coca-Cola also will donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for each message sent. The ads, via Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, are part of Coca-Cola's "Open Happiness" campaign (Coca-Cola). ADWEEK’s Eleftheria Parpis notes one of the new ads features characters from Fox’ “The Simpsons.” Billionaire Montgomery Burns in the ad “has lost millions and only looks at the bright side of life after convenience store clerk Apu gives him a Coke.” In the other spot, a sleepwalker “leaves his tent to trek through the African savannah, bypassing a cheetah, a herd of elephants and other dangerous wildlife, to get to a Coke inside a cabin fridge” (ADWEEK.com, 1/28). AD AGE’s Natalie Zmuda noted Coca-Cola also “plans to run a third spot during the pre-game show.” That 30-second ad “will be for the Sprite brand and will be the first from new agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty.” In addition, Coca-Cola “has two bumpers during the game, one of which will be used to promote the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the other to promote the American Red Cross’ efforts in Haiti” (ADAGE.com, 1/27).

SODA SPOTLIGHT: In Atlanta, Jeremiah McWilliams notes Coca-Cola is “taking a rare opportunity this year to outduel its main rival on television’s biggest stage,” as PepsiCo will not run an ad for its beverage brands. Coca-Cola North America CMO Katie Bayne said, “As far as our competitor choosing to go somewhere else, we’ll miss them. At the same time, I know they have other things planned. We have been planning on the Super Bowl for a long time.” PepsiCo “insists that its retrenchment on the broadcast is not related to Coca-Cola’s presence, or with the Super Bowl’s value as a marketing vehicle.” Pepsi North America Senior VP/Communications Peter Land: “The Super Bowl is a great platform for the right brand at the right time. Our decision is in no way a knock on the Super Bowl at all” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/28). In N.Y., Stuart Elliott noted PepsiCo execs, in explaining why they chose not to purchase ad time during the Super Bowl, said that they “wanted to concentrate on a campaign centered on philanthropy and the social media.” Coca-Cola, by incorporating social media and philanthropic elements to its campaign, is showing PepsiCo that "when it comes to Super Bowl advertising, you can walk and chew gum at the same time" (NYTIMES.com, 1/27). Bayne said that plans to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as other organizations through cash matching and My Coke Rewards points-matching efforts at livepositively.com, "were in place well before Pepsi announced it would put its focus behind” its Refresh Everything Project (ADAGE.com, 1/27).

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