Thursday, March 30, 2006

Coca-Cola rolling out new advertising campaign

Associated Press

The Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage maker, is trying to make its products more important to people and relevant in their lives in its latest advertising campaign.

The campaign, dubbed "The Coke Side of Life," will include television ads that begin airing in the United States this weekend during broadcasts of the NCAA Final Four on CBS and American Idol on Fox. There also will be billboards, newspaper ads and online videos.

The company gave a sneak peak at the campaign Thursday.

"It's about rekindling why people love the product and why people love the brand at the same time," Marc Mathieu, a Coca-Cola marketing executive, told reporters. The campaign is one part of the Atlanta-based company's efforts to increase sales of its core carbonated soft drink brands in key markets.

"It's only one piece of the overall growth effort," Mathieu said. The campaign will launch in other markets over the next several months. When the campaign was announced in December, marketing chief Mary Minnick said the company's advertising goal in 2006 is to make the company's beverages more relevant to consumers.
She said the company has been studying "the underlying psychology of beverages" to understand "why consumers are drinking what, when and where."

The goal is to sell the brand, not just the beverage, Minnick said at the time.
The company's long-term goal is to increase operating income 6 percent to 8 percent annually.

The new ad campaign was developed by Wieden+Kennedy, a Portland, Ore., marketing firm that has worked with Nike Inc. and Starbucks Corp.

Coca-Cola spends roughly $2 billion a year worldwide on marketing. Its North America unit is a key portion of that figure.


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