Coke Reaches the Checkered Flag

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Coca-Cola - 'Vault 5000'
Coca-Cola - 'Vault 5000'
If film, TV programming and satellite radio is any indication, there is a huge demand for NASCAR nowadays. Having already melded with the hip-hop market thanks to those Chevy spots, the stock car racing community now has a new ally in Vault, Coca-Cola's own version of the energy drink. Using the "brand as destination" approach so popular nowadays, Publicis USA in turn created a microsite for Vault that expands upon the drink's sponsorship of NASCAR's "Driver Pick 'Em" game.

The Vault 5,000 site, which launched in sync with the Coca-Cola 6000 race this week on ESPN, tells the funny, fictional saga of three daredevil drivers—Pete "TNT" Chisolm, Don "D Mac" McCoy and Travis Walker—who were bold enough to create their own stock car race, the Vault 5,000, the number being the absurdly high amount of miles covered on the dirt track. Video bios introduce us to the trio, while other footage gives us the lowdown on the "history" of the 5,000, the direct experience of driving in the lengthy race, as well as the cars involved and their respective features like a "man fuel tank" filled with Vault and beaded custom seat cushions. Of course, the branding isn't quite subtle overall, but then again, Publicis and Coke have found an amusing way to posit the idea that Vault does its job while simultaneously pushing NASCAR further towards its mainstream tipping point.
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