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(June 1, 2001) BANGKOK -- In a continued drive to wrest further market share from arch rival Pepsi, the Coca-Cola Co. launched its largest campaign ever in Thailand to promote its Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta brands.

The promotion runs from May 26 until Aug. 31 and has been named "Red Passion," in reference to the centerpiece of the campaign, an upcoming high-profile soccer match between the U.K.'s famous Liverpool football club and the Thai national team. Liverpool's club color is red.

The match, called "Coke Super Cup," will take place on July 19 at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium. More than 10,000 tickets for the encounter were sold within two hours on May 12.

Red Passion is the local variant of Coca-Cola's worldwide "Life Tastes Good" campaign.

During the promotion period, more than 300,000 prizes, ranging from holiday packages and soccer match tickets to mobile phones and red watches, can be won by consumers if they check under the crowns of soft drink bottles.

"With more than 300,000 prizes, Red Passion is the biggest promotion we've ever done [in Thailand], and the value of the prizes alone is some $1.1 million," said Arpaporn Samabhandhu, Coca-Cola group brand manager.

The campaign will be supported by TV, print, billboard and radio ads.

The total budget provided for the campaign is a staggering $3.6 million, and the company has appointed Aziam Burson-Marsteller as its agency.

Coinciding with the promotion, the company has also re-introduced Coke's Thai-language font on its packaging, which had been suspended for several years. Meanwhile, the familiar English-language logo has been cropped in a trendy way to appeal to young consumers. -- Thomas Schmid

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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