Coca-Cola is taking its Olympic sponsorship one step further with an ad-sponsored original TV show "Beat TV."
The original series -- a first for the marketer -- will air 10 episodes on weeknights from July 30 through Aug. 10 through a variety of broadcast partnerships. Celebrity and athlete interviews, live musical performances and the Beat Bus, a mobile pop-up studio, will be mainstays of the variety-style show, which can be sliced and diced for use by Coca-Cola marketers around the world.
"We're filling out a need and desire. Sometimes you have games coming and going and you get a lot of info on the event, but you miss out on what it would have felt like had you been there," said Claudia Navarro, the company's global Olympic marketing director. "Instead of focusing on what's happening on the pitch, the medalists. ... We'll capture the vibe of London, the social aspect of it for the fans."
Ms. Navarro said the show will target teens in more than 30 countries. Already Coca-Cola has secured hosts that speak English, German and Spanish, while other countries will use subtitles.
In the U.K., the show will air at 11 p.m. on ITV2, which also airs shows like "Gossip Girl" and "The Real Housewives of New York City." And in several countries MTV is a partner. Coca-Cola is still seeking a partner in the U.S., though Ms. Navarro, says she's confident Beat TV will find a distributor.
Time slots and show length will vary by region, though the majority will feature a 30-minute format. "We're giving the markets flexibility of having different lengths, so they can cut snippets or place it digitally," Ms. Navarro said. "We want to tap into social media."
The show will be ad-supported, meaning advertisers besides Coca-Cola can buy air time during the episodes. Rival PepsiCo could even buy ads, in theory, though Ms. Navarro considers that unlikely. For the most part, episodes will air on stations that have official rights to the Olympics and therefore previous ad commitments from Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of the Olympic Games.
Ms. Navarro said Coca-Cola branding on "Beat TV" won't be "overt," though the company's involvement should be apparent. "We're relying on linkage back to the 'Move to the Beat' campaign," she said. "We believe it will be clear it's coming from us. But we want the editorial piece to be fairly clean, so that people really enjoy it."
"Beat TV" is part of the broader "Move to the Beat" London 2012 Olympic campaign, which includes the anthem "Anywhere in the World," produced by Mark Ronson and performed by Katy B. The campaign also includes the Create My Beat and My Beatmaker apps, as well as global TV spots and Olympic packaging.