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Coca-Cola Co. is embracing the great outdoors to market its newly old-fashioned Coca-Cola Classic bottles in what could be a record campaign.

The cola giant is relying heavily on outdoor boards nationwide to promote the rollout of the contoured plastic and glass bottles patterned after the original 61/2ounce green-tinted glass bottles.

A spokesman called the introduction "one of our most important marketing initiatives in which outdoor is part of an aggressive integrated marketing campaign."

Already, Coca-Cola's 1996 Summer Olympics-theme ad campaign, "The world together. Always," by Copeland Hirthler, Atlanta, is up in that city on a three-sided revolving board, standard outdoor boards and kiosks in railroad stations. It also spotlights the contoured bottle.

The spokesman said the soft-drink company never stopped making the contoured 61/2-ounce bottles in the U.S., selling more than 2 million 24-bottle cases in 1992.

Three-part teaser campaigns from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, broke in March in Chicago and are going up in Dallas and Houston to announce the availability of the larger-size contoured bottles.

Hispanic and African-American executions by Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, San Antonio, and Burrell Advertising, Chicago, respectively, support.

Many outdoor companies and media buyers say Coke's outdoor spending could exceed McDonald's Corp.'s 1992 record $16 million purchase.

Patrick Media Group President-CEO Stephen McNeely said: "It has the potential of being a very large national buy."

Marcy Magiera contributed to this story.

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