COKE PONDERS REAL-TIME ADS FOR OLYMPICS;'CHALLENGING' PROPOSAL PART OF WIEDEN SHOP'S EXPANDED ROLE WITH SODA GIANT

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Coca-Cola Co. already has started pouring out its 1996 Summer Olympics advertising, but the real creative fizz is still to come.

For a coming multimedia campaign, Coca-Cola and Wieden & Kennedy are considering producing "real-time" TV commercials-either live or culled from footage shot over the course of the 17-day Olympiad-that will run during NBC's broadcast of the Summer Games.

The real-time idea was presented to Coca-Cola employees in the past month, but a company executive said it hasn't yet been approved and may not happen.

"We've talked about it," said Eric Schulz, Coca-Cola's director of worldwide Olympic marketing, "but...there are some serious technical and logistical challenges that would prevent us from doing it."

The real-time ads would be just part of a new wave of print ads and TV commercials, all from Portland, Ore.-based Wieden, to tout Coca-Cola's 68-year association with the Olympics, celebrating its centennial this year.

The "heritage" creative will take b&w archival footage or re-creations and insert the company's trademark red and white logo, bottle shape and "Always" slogan.

The soft-drink giant already is airing commercials supporting its sponsorship of the Olympic Torch Relay, via McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Seattle.

The new Olympics campaign represents a huge boost for Wieden, which had been on Coca-Cola's creative roster doing small assignments such as OK soda. Perhaps as much as half of Coca-Cola Classic's ad budget will go toward the Olympics in '96.

The Classic brand has been spending from $80 million to $100 million annually, airing commercials mostly produced by a creative team formerly with Creative Artists Agency and now working directly for Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola paid more than $70 million to lock up the soft drink, sports drink and fruit juice categories during Olympic broadcasts. The airtime will be split among brands including Classic, Sprite, PowerAde and Minute Maid.

Mr. Schulz said Coca-Cola is quite pleased with Wieden. Its "work is very Nike, and very good," he said.

With the "heritage" campaign, Coca-Cola is trying to show "we didn't just hook up with the Olympics yesterday," Mr. Schulz said. "We've been a sponsor since 1928. Our brand is very much a part of the Olympic movement."

Coca-Cola launched its '96 Olympics marketing activities last year with a promotion involving multiple brands that distributed order forms for buying tickets.

Mark Gleason contributed to this story.

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