The cola giant tonight breaks its first national TV advertising in nearly two decades for Fresca, a 2-calorie light citrus drink Coca-Cola is using to demonstrate its agility in battling New Age beverages.
Hence, the theme of the estimated $8 million Fresca campaign from Lowe & Partners-SMS, New York: "The tasteful alternative."
Despite the inroads made in traditional carbonated soft-drink sales during the past two years by alternative beverage marketers like Snapple Beverage Corp., Coca-Cola Chief Financial Officer Jack Stahl told financial analysts last week the company expects U.S. volume growth of 5% for the first quarter of 1994, ending March 31.
All U.S. carbonated soft-drink sales grew 3.1% to $49.1 billion in 1993, according to industry newsletter Beverage Digest.
To boost U.S. volume further during the crucial summer soft-drink season and tap rival Pepsi-Cola Co.'s youth franchise, Coca-Cola is planning its most aggressive promotional effort ever, dubbed "Coca-Cola's Red Hot Summer."
Coca-Cola is teaming with promotional partners Ford Motor Co., Fox Broadcasting Co. and 150 local radio stations, which will support the $350 million sweepstakes promotion with $30 million in media advertising.
Coca-Cola projected international volume growth for the first quarter also will be about 5%. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola Exec VP-Principal Operating Officer/International John Hunter told analysts in Atlanta last week he's confident the company will reach 8% volume growth in international business by the end of this year.
The marketer's business outside the U.S. accounts for 80% of its profits, explaining Coca-Cola's ever-increasing emphasis on global marketing.
Today, Coca-Cola is also breaking a new global campaign for its Sprite lemon-lime soft drink that replaces the brand's bouncy "I like the Sprite in you" theme of recent years with a more hard-edged tagline: "Obey your thirst."
Sprite agency Lowe & Partners-SMS created six of the campaign's seven TV spots. One execution created specifically for international use is from McCann-Erickson Worldwide.