Coke channels a 1970s-era car chase for new Orange Vanilla Coke ad

The spot resembles a 'Starsky and Hutch' scene

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Coca-Cola is channeling a 1970s-era car-chase scene with its debut ad for Orange Vanilla Coke, the soda's first new flavor in 12 years.

The spot, by Wieden & Kennedy Portland, looks like it was ripped from an episode of "Starsky and Hutch," funky music and all. It shows a Coke delivery truck screeching down a city street alongside a truck full of oranges and an ice cream truck. The spot doesn't show the vehicles colliding, but that is the implication as it ends with a can of the beverage rolling toward a crossing guard.

"We thought this was a really hyperbolic but also telegraphic way to help consumers understand that it was the flavors of orange, vanilla and Coke coming together to create this new flavor," says Kate Santore, senior integrated marketing communication manager for Coca-Cola North America.

Orange Vanilla Coke is joined by Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar as the brand's first new flavor since Vanilla Coke Zero hit stores in 2007, joining Cherry Coke. Orange Coke takes flavor cues from creamy orange popsicles and first debuted in Australia and Canada last summer. The U.S. team considered three other flavors—raspberry, lemon and ginger—before landing on orange vanilla.

The goal is to seize on an increased appetite for flavored colas. Cherry and vanilla account for roughly 9 percent of Coke's dollar volume but are driving 18 percent of the dollar growth of the Coke trademark, Santore says, citing Nielsen data.

Orange Vanilla Coke will be supported with TV, digital, outdoor and radio advertising. The variety will get significant support during March Madness.

Coca-Cola is also investing in new flavors for Diet Coke, recently adding strawberry guava and blueberry acai to a lineup that already includes ginger lime, twisted mango, feisty cherry and zesty blood orange.

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