Song Lyrics Praise Montefiore Fruit Drink Product

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BUENOS AIRES -- The Coca-Cola Co. is taking a fresh approach to product placement in Argentina: It has created a cumbia band to sing about its lower-priced Montefiore fruit drink on a TV program dedicated to the catchy and wildly popular music.
Coke acquired Montefiore last year.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson Argentina developed the initiative, the first for the beverage brand since Coca-Cola acquired it last year.

Five songs

The agency and soft-drink giant assembled the Montefiore Band and wrote five songs that boast about the rich flavor of the concentrated apple, grapefruit and orange drink, sold in 1.5-liter bottles.

The band takes the stage once an hour on Pasion ("Passion"), an eight-hour variety show that airs on Saturdays on fourth-ranked America TV that draws Montefiore's target -- lower-middle and middle-class consumers, especially housewives. The songs also air on radio.

Cumbia, a danceable mixture of punk angst, reggae beats and soccer-stadium fervor, is often compared with gangsta rap in the U.S. for its lyrics about drugs, discrimination, corrupt politicians, sex, social crisis and violence.

'Costs less, suits you better'

With a marching beat, the Montefiore Band sings, "I want your flavor for me, Montefiore for baby. It costs less, yields more. It has three flavors to enjoy."

In another song, the band sings about going to the market to pick up a Montefiore for your buddies back home. The chorus goes, "Drinks all around, Montefiore. There are three flavors, Montefiore." And on yet another, the band sings,
Coke acquired Montefiore last year.

"It costs less, suits you better."

In addition to on-air and radio support, the campaign is backed by outdoor, print and point-of-sale ads.

The company declined to discuss spending.

Montefiore's attributes "are expressed in a fun way," helping boost product awareness, said Ezequiel Fernandez Sasso, manager of the brand at Coca-Cola de Argentina. "The people that watch Pasion every Saturday, they remember the songs at the time of deciding" beverage purchases.

Complaints about other product placements

Coca-Cola opted to take the more entertaining approach and integrate the product into Pasion after consumers complained that more traditional product placements such as putting a product on stage or getting the show's host to sing its praises are distracting.
And by linking with cumbia, Coca-Cola is associating Montefiore with a thriving movement among its target group.

Coca-Cola is not alone. Pasion is attracting other marketers of lower-end brands.

Bands like Los Pibes Chorros (The Thieving Kids) and Yerba Brava (Wild Weed) and the show's scantily dressed dancers now share the stage with Freshy cola, La Diosa beer, Marolio flour, Maxiconsumo markets and Patricia Allen perfumes.
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