Campaign: Coke

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In the world of advertising, keeping things real isn't easy. But that's exactly what Berlin Cameron/Red Cell set out to do with its new "Real" campaign for Coke Classic. "They were old and out of date and totally irrelevant to kids," says creative director Jason Peterson of Coca-Cola's dilemma. "To an 18-year-old kid, they don't know what Coke stands for. They know polar bears." And what Coke stands for, according to Peterson, is authenticity and real life. While the campaign has several facets - including a music video-style blowout starring R&B stars Common and Mya, celebrity cameos, and print work bathed in the red wash that frames the TV campaign - a large part of it centers on real life, even when celebrities are involved. A spot starring Courteney Cox Arquette and husband David Arquette, directed by David Fincher, features the pair at home, just chillin', and Cox is wearing her own clothes. "It sounds easy, but it's a hard thing to do in the world of production," Peterson says of keeping the stylists at bay. But that kind of reality is what the agency was shooting for, especially in the narrative portion of the campaign, directed by Swedish collective Traktor, which features members of the target market acting naturally. "Two of the print ads were shot at my high school," Peterson says. "We wanted everything to be as real and as authentic as possible. The important thing was for everything to seem natural, to make it feel like it really happened."

"We're trying to hold up a mirror to the way people really interact with Coke rather than inventing some new big thing for Coke to interact with," adds ACD/writer Michelle Novella Sassa. She believes this campaign reclaims something "that only Coke can say." But will it work, setting Coke apart from Pepsi as the brand that doesn't have to try so hard; the brand that doesn't need Britney; the brand that's just always there? Penelope Cruz belching doesn't seem all that breakthrough. "This is the just the beginning," Peterson promises. "Once we get rolling, I think it will get better and better."

Client: Coca-Cola Agency: Berlin Cameron/Red Cell ECD/CW: Ewen Cameron CD:Jason Peterson ACD/CW: Michelle Novella Sassa CWs: Neil Riley, Julian Pugsley, Jean Rhode, Susan Griak ADs: Matt Murphy, Julio Pardo, Jason Peterson, Agency Producers: Dane Johnson, Blythe Barger, Maryellen Duggan Directors: Traktor/Partizan, Chris Robinson/Partizan, David Fincher/Anonymous Editors: Jim Ulbrich/Day for Night, Noah Herzog/Spine Music: Tone Farmer

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