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Coca-Cola Co.'s summer promotion for its Powerade sports drink is designed to be more engaging than the typical instant-win game.

The promotion requires teens to activate a computer game, dubbed "Powerade Keep Playing Challenge," on Powerade's Internet site using an 11-digit code printed behind the brand's label. Players can select one of four sports to play to find out if they're a winner.

The interactive effort was sparked by research that shows teens are bored with promotions that reveal if you're a winner or not when you twist off a cap or peel off a label, said George Hodges, senior brand manager for Powerade.

Network TV to support the game starts today with a 30-second spot from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. It's slated to run for three weeks on teen-targeted and sports programming, including WB's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Fox's "King of the Hill." The spot then will return June 28.

Radio and print also will be used.

In the game, if the team wins then the consumer wins. If the team loses, there's a second chance to tap into prizes via a summerlong fantasy league consumers assemble themselves at the Internet site (


"We've transformed the way a consumer experiences an instant-win game," Mr. Hodges said.

Top prizes are trips for four to a championship game of choice, including the World Series or the Super Bowl.

One prize that proved a hit in Coca-Cola's focus-group testing was having a winner's photo posted on the site.

"Kids were more focused on that than winning a $10,000 scholarship," Mr. Hodges said. "The whole recognition factor is a big driver."

A second phase of the promotion will be launched Sept. 1 as part of Powerade's sponsorship of the National Hockey League.

Coca-Cola it putting more marketing muscle behind the brand at a time of growing sales. Executives declined to discuss spending, but indicated it will be significantly higher than last year.

According to Competitive Media Reporting, the brand was backed by $15.7 million in measured media last year. Powerade's sales volume rose 22.4% last year,

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