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GIVEN THAT CHERRY COKE HASN'T BEEN ONE OF COKE'S MORE POPULAR SOFT drinks in recent years, it's not surprising that a new TV campaign opts for something a bit wilder than lounging polar bears and swimming elephants.

Actually, "a roller coaster ride" is more what director Flavio Kampah says he had in mind for Cherry Coke and Chiat/Day/Los Angeles. And what a ride it is. The colorfully frenetic campaign, executed almost entirely on the Mac, can only be described as a multilayered sugar high, a combination of jumbled and distorted live action images, product shots, animation and type.

Playing on the tag, "Do something different," the two :30s each begin slowly, almost depressingly so. In one, a shadowy human form in a box is gradually surrounded by type that reads, "I gotta do something different or I'm gonna go crazy"; in the other spot the same unfocused form is closed in with the words, "Every day on earth should be different from the last." Suddenly, both burst with dizzying psychedelic images: fuchsia and lime green faces dripping with liquid, manipulated wide-mouthed grins and animated cutouts, all intercut with screams and the exaggerated sound of carbonation.

Italian-born, 32-year-old Kampah, who works out of his own Kampah Visions, based in Venice, Calif., and who recently teamed with Ritts/Hayden director Pierluca De Carlo on a corporate sales video for Chiat/Day and Nissan, calls the Coke creation "a freefall into freedom, a movement from the blurriness of boredom to a more loose, liquid world." The idea was aided, he says, by adventurous talent-models who repeatedly had water, Cherry Coke and chocolate poured over their heads during the day-long shoot.

Art director Jerry Gentile says the edgy approach grew "out of a need to reinvent the product. Cherry Coke couldn't come across as another mainstream drink that kids might associate with their parents."

Part of that reinvention involved repackaging the product to broaden its appeal to a younger market. Along with Cherry Coke's new funkily scrawled logo, the agency and Kampah's inspiration for commercials was magazines like Wired, especially its overwhelming use of fluorescent, highly-saturated colors. "Early on we thought about a look that was more futuristic and 'Blade Runner'-like," Kampah explains, "but we decided that it was too aesthetic and controlled, and ultimately not universal enough. The more radical visuals better illustrate the idea of an explosion of freedom."

To enhance what he describes as the otherworldliness of the spots, Kampah scanned in a photo of a lithograph to give them a scratchy, aged look. He then manipulated various underwater and outer space sounds, which were created at Venice-based Machine Head.

Both spots are currently airing in Brazil and Thailand. According to Gentile, the agency expects to air them in the U.S. sometime next year.

Additional credits to creative director Lee Clow, copywriter Scott Vincent and

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