Coke brings the bite of Barq's to Canada

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TORONTO, Ontario -- Coca-Cola Canada is launching the 99-year-old U.S. root beer Barq's across the country with a marketing campaign due to kick in next month.

Sidewalk sampling began Canada-wide earlier in July, plus point-of-purchase heralding the soft drink's distinctive taste with the slogan "Warning: Barq's has Bite."

Handling upcoming youth-themed television, radio and outdoor creative for the brand is MacLaren McCann, Toronto, in English-speaking Canada and Marketel, Montreal, for French Canada.

"We're optimistic it will do well," says Coca- Cola marketing vice-president Tina Warren. "Hopefully (with) double-digit growth rates as it has done in parts of the U.S."

Marketing will position the 99-year-old brand - now global but originally created in Biloxi, Mississipi - as an alternative to traditional root beers and colas. Its higher carbonation with less sugar give Barq's a bite and make it a "change-of-pace beverage," says Warren.

Coca-Cola in the U.S. bought the brand in late 1995 and since then has boosted market share across the States.

Barq's Root Beer, Diet Root Beer and Cream Soda rounds out Coca-Cola's brand portfolio in Canada and "will help establish leadership in the flavor segment of the beverage market," Warren says.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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