Coke Asks Shops To Pitch Ideas for Next Big Campaign

Days Could Be Numbered for 'Open Happiness'

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Credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Coca-Cola Co. has invited 10 roster agencies to pitch ideas for Coke's next big global campaign, which could potentially include ending the long-running "Open Happiness" campaign.

The process began this week in Atlanta and represents the first big agency move under new Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto. Shops invited span the globe and include David, Dentsu, FCB of South Africa, Martin Mercado, McCann of Madrid, Ogilvy, Santo, Sra Rushmore, The Cyranos and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland.

"We have invited a selection of our key agencies from around the world to bring their best thinking to Coca-Cola in order to create the strongest work for our flagship brand," the company said in a statement to Ad Age. "We are always pushing ourselves and our agencies to deliver world-class creative with global appeal that engages and entertains our consumers and drives business growth. This process will help us harness thinking from some of the best agency minds from around the world to deliver the best possible work."

The pitch comes as the company puts a new emphasis on marketing to help reverse sluggish soda sales trends. A major cost-cutting initiative was recently launched that involves pouring savings back into brand-building. Executives said late last year that the company would add $250 million to $350 million in global media investment in 2015.

Everything appears to be on the table, including moving beyond "Open Happiness," which was launched by Wieden & Kennedy in 2009. "We've got an open mind," said a spokeswoman. It is possible that more than one agency could emerge as a winner.

It is unclear when the new work would go into market. But the new campaign would likely follow recently recent ads that celebrate the 100th year of Coke's iconic bottle. Those ads are showing in more than 100 countries and are expected to run through most of the year in many portions of the globe.

Coke launched "Open Happiness" with major media buys that included "American Idol," the Super Bowl and Academy Awards in the U.S. It was eventually activated globally in over 200 markets and has won multiple awards including over 60 Cannes Lions, according to Coke. The effort was introduced during tough economic times and was meant to position Coke as a simple pleasure.

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