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Volume 26 No. 64
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Coca-Cola Scaling Back Scope Of Global Olympic Marketing, Increasing Social Efforts

Coca-Cola is scaling back the overall scope of its Olympic marketing this year, activating its new #ThatsGold campaign in 50 markets, about half as many as it did around the '12 London or '08 Beijing Games. However, the soft drink maker will greatly enhance its real-time social and experiential marketing in Rio, and will also activate its worldwide rights across six different subsidiary brands in North America for the first time. Coca-Cola this month will roll out the campaign's global TV spots and outdoor billboards. An extension of the company's “Taste the Feeling” tagline first launched in January, it is designed to celebrate "everyday moments” along with the Games. In TV spots via Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y., Coca-Cola intersperses medal-winning celebration footage with more routine, happy scenes of young people socializing. The same concept will appear outdoors, such as a billboard of U.S. decathlete Ashton Eaton and USWNT F Alex Morgan relaxing together. Swimmer Nathan Adrian, Paralympic runner Tatyana McFadden, runner Leo Manzano and retired gymnast Nastia Liukin round out the U.S. athlete roster. Manzano, who won a Silver Medal in London, failed to qualify for this year's Games. He will continue to be identified as an Olympian on packaging and will appear in Rio. Meanwhile, golfer Jordan Spieth will not be identified by name on Coke Olympic packaging following his announcement Monday he will not play in Rio. A silhouette of a golfer will still appear on the low-calorie Coca-Cola Life product, but will not name Spieth.

SERVICE STATION: During the Games in Rio, Coca-Cola will operate a second operation more than 20 miles away from its usual presence at the central Olympic Park: A teen-focused “Coca-Cola Station” at the official Rio Live site in Pracu Maua. The venue will include musical acts, artists and a studio for hired social influencers to augment the soft drink’s global #thatsgold advertising campaign during the Games. Coca-Cola activated in similar ways during the '14 FIFA World Cup, but is now broadcasting that effort globally. Coca-Cola Global VP/Creative & Connections Rodolfo Echeverria said the Olympic Park "would look like what we’ve done in the past, with three four big stands of activity.” But he added, "What we’re doing in the city and amplifying to the world is exponential. The way we’re taking the influencers and bloggers to put this idea alive, through the city and particularly in the Coca-Cola Station, is amazing." The paid social media influencers include Australian teen sibling singers Cody and Alli Simpson, Canadian actress Allie Evans and British YouTube star Jake Boys. They will promote Coke live from Rio under the #thatsgold hashtag and encourage fans to do the same.

SPECIAL PACKAGING COMING: The company will soon launch special Olympic packaging for its Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero products through August. The bottles and cans feature silhouettes of the athletes. Coca-Cola also has tapped athlete endorsers and prepared creative for the brands Powerade, Minute Maid, Core Power milk shakes, Zico coconut water and vitaminwater. "It’s a much more significant presence for other brands in addition to the brand Coca-Cola than you would have seen in the past,” said Coca-Cola Dir of Worldwide Sports & Event Management Peter Franklin.