Ah, what a lovely Coca-Cola holiday ad. Shame about the music

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Nov 11 2010

A few weeks ago, it was just a crappy song with no pictures. Now, Train's latest single—the one we told you about recently that was written for Coca-Cola's holiday campaign—is the soundtrack to a full-blown ad. With Santa! The spot, dubbed "Snow Globes," shown here, is everything you'd expect from a Christmas commercial, including a cute dog, a kissing couple and a family gathering. If it weren't for that inane ditty! Anyway, it's going global, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. The seasonal marketing effort came from Coke's international teams, Coca-Cola Germany and McCann, Madrid. And for Train fans out there, "Shake Up Happiness" is being released as a single, or you can get it as a "bonus" on the band's latest CD. I will plug my ears accordingly. Bah, humbug!

New Coke Christmas song from Train is like coal in your stocking

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Oct 28 2010

Train_promo New from Train, the band I love to hate at the moment: another song that will inevitably get stuck in my brain and make me want to commit murder. This time instead of that inane ditty, “Hey Soul Sister” for Samsung, it's “Shake Up Christmas”” for Coca-Cola. “Ho, ho, ho,” the song goes, “shake up the happiness, come on y'all, it's Christmas time.” More ridiculousness follows—isten at your own risk. Can you believe it was written specifically for this campaign? (Sarcasm alert, which isn't very spirit-of-the-season of me, but can I help it if the song reads like a brand brief?) Coke is continuing two of its established trends here—relentless smiley-faced optimism and holiday-based advertising. The marketer intends to unleash this tune on 90 countries, presumably so our ears will bleed simultaneously in many languages. I'm all for spreading the love. But why does it have to sound so awful? To hear the song click here. Don't say you weren't warned.

Pepsi Max remakes classic Pepsi diner spot with a modern twist

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Jul 19 2010

Ask the average corporate exec to comment about a rival and you'll usually get a blanket statement like, "We don't comment on competitors." But those same upper-management types, it seems, have no trouble putting their rank-and-file employees on the firing line, at least in advertising. Aside from the long-running Verizon-Comcast spat, which features a feckless cable guy squaring off against an obnoxious FiOS rep, there's the on-again, off-again rivalry between the guys who drive trucks for Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. In this latest campaign for Pepsi Max from TBWA\Chiat\Day—an update of a famous 1995 Super Bowl ad by BBDO (with the original Pepsi guy now playing the diner cook)—a Pepsi rep persuades his competitor to try the drink. As the Coke driver admires Pepsi Max's no-calorie sweetness, the Pepsi guy snaps a quick video and uploads it to YouTube. A brawl ensues, but when the dust clears, it's hard not to sympathize with the Coke guy, who may (in the story, at least) lose his job. On the other hand, perhaps Pepsi research has identified a weasel-ish psychographic that responds well to betraying overtures to friendship.

Coca-Cola has special thank-you message for first Facebook fan

Posted on Mon Jun 14 2010

Coca-Cola has almost 6 million fans on Facebook, but it all started with one. Here, Dusty and Michael, the creators of Coke's fan page, contact that very first fan. Now, stop me if you've heard this one...

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Coke Zero soliciting your ideas for making March Madness better

Posted on Mon Mar 22 2010

The NCAA men's basketball tournament has spawned all kinds of bracketology ideas, including Adweek's own March Adness. So, it's no surprise that marketers are glomming onto the idea. The latest such effort is Coke Zero's Brain Bracket, which sounds like a horrible disease but is actually an attempt to crowdsource the brand's tie-in with this year's tourney. (The winning idea gets $10,000.) The initial idea, explored in this commercial from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is pretty lame, perhaps purposely so: a "mascot cam" inserted in North Carolina's ram. North Carolina didn't even make the tournament this year. It's not the worst idea when he's checking out some cheerleaders, I suppose, but it's no Whopper Freakout. Speaking of which, you have perhaps the best creative agency in the U.S. on your roster and you're asking consumers for your next big idea? What a waste. And here's an idea for you, Coke Zero: How about a contest Web site that actually works?

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Wieden's latest Coke spot imagines Olympic-size snowball fight

Posted on Tue Jan 19 2010

Here's some good clean fun courtesy of our friends at Coca-Cola and Wieden + Kennedy. This commercial imagines a scene before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver where athletes engage in a little snowball fight. It's all a misunderstanding, though, because a bunch of snow falls on one of the Canadian athletes, prompting him to drop his Coke. Then, in a surprising move (surprising because Canadians aren't known for their hot-headedness), his teammate hurls a snowball at the Swedish team, and then France surprisingly gets pulled into the action (surprising because they usually like to sit out conflicts), and then, before you know it, all hell breaks loose in what reminded me of the famously deleted pie-fighting scene from Dr. Strangelove. The spot ends with the original athlete finding a vending machine to get his Coke fix. The creative continues to build on the notion of a magical Coke machine that dispenses happiness, or in this case, restores world order.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Walmart says it's the little things that matter, even at the holidays

Posted on Tue Nov 3 2009

Dave Muhlenfeld, the Martin Agency copywriter behind the FreeCreditReport songs and this catchy Coke/Walmart ad from last year, is at it again with an ad for Walmart celebrating the little things in life. What things? Like the way an e-mail can make you want to talk, or the way a little kid can make the world seem big. That kind of stuff. For Walmart, whose current tagline is "Save money, live better," the message is spot on, but then again, it is the holiday season, so maybe not. "They have a big inventory of spots, and most of them are holiday-centric," says Joe Alexander, svp and creative director at Martin, explaining why the spot is running only online right now. (Walmart put it on its Facebook page and on YouTube last week.) Too bad TV viewers won't see it, because the song is nice and hummable, the sentiment is very relevant this holiday season, and the photography is terrific. My only beef is the tactic of using several different actors to sing the song. Maybe it was that scene in the movie Magnolia, particularly the part with Jason Robards, that put me off that kind of thing, though I have to admit Flight of the Conchords put it to good use for their song "Hurt Feelings."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Latest Fantana proves you can never have too many Fantanas

Posted on Fri Sep 11 2009
Shakira2

Shakira has joined the Fantanas! Too bad it's Shakira Barrera from Englewood, N.J. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola has named its fourth sexy soda spokesperson for its Fanta brand. A little history: The Fantanas were born in 2002, when Coke decided to relaunch the Fanta brand in the U.S. as a replacement for Orange Slice and a competitor to Sunkist. To show off its variety of flavors, it cast four models in its ads to lip-sync its jingle "Don't You Want To?" They would go on to pose in Maxim and be spoofed by Mad TV. However, as happened with other supergroups like Menudo, new members have been rotated in over the years. This time, the brand announced an open casting call online in April. Barrera was selected from 10 semifinalists, who sent in one-minute videos showing off their "personalities," by a panel of judges, including Chilli from TLC. Barrera's prize includes the opportunity to appear in Fanta's 2009-10 ad campaign as well as $5,000. Considering Fanta has quietly become one of the few carbonated soft-drink success stories of the past decade, the Fantanas have proven yet again that sex sells.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Parody of Coke Zero body-parts campaign features NSFW guest

Posted on Mon Aug 31 2009

I suppose when you run ads featuring talking pink tongues, you're kind of asking for it. But here's a very well-done (and very off-color and not safe for work) spoof of the animated Coke Zero campaign by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam that imagines what would happen if other body parts got into the action. Though the depiction of the organ in question is pretty graphic, this spoof veers away when things could get really disturbing, which is a plus. But this is still not meant for the young 'uns. As for the target audience, though, some will no doubt echo one YouTube commentor who writes: "I want it on TV!"

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Dentyne's campaign starts a Luddite youth movement, maybe

Posted on Tue Jul 14 2009

Dentyne-advertisement That campaign from Dentyne telling Gen Yers to get off their computers and get out in the real world may be one of the most successful campaigns of all time, if recent reports are to be believed. OK, the ads didn’t run in Australia, but according to the newspaper The Australian, 16-30 year-olds are logging off of Facebook in favor of face-to-face encounters, like the ones Dentyne promotes in its McCann-Erickson-created ads (which urge youngsters to “make face time.”) According to that story, teens are even showing an interest in vinyl records! What next, knitting? Lest you think this is merely an Australian phenomenon, like vegemite, the idea seems to be catching on in Belgium as well, where, according to the Miami Ad School's blog, Coca-Cola closed down its site for the summer, with a note explaining that the makers of the site are off to the beach. (Well, that may have been the case yesterday, but as of today, Belgian Coke seems to be up and running.) Unfortunately, Australian Gen Yers and Belgian Coke workers seem to be in the minority. After all, you’re reading this online and I’m writing it.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman


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