Coca-Cola is about to throw a big -- and expensive -- global birthday party for its 100-year-old bottle.
A yearlong centennial campaign will include 14 TV ads, a custom anthem, a traveling art exhibit, a global art competition and an outdoor and digital campaign featuring images of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Ray Charles, according to details released Thursday.
The campaign, which executives first teased last week, celebrates the curvy "contour" bottle that was patented in 1915. Ads will run in more than 140 countries. Most of the TV spots are by Wieden & Kennedy, Portland and Ogilvy & Mather, Paris. Contributions also came from Sid Lee, Canada and McCann, Madrid.
One commercial (above) called "Tale of Contour" tells a mythical story of how the bottle was created. Many of the TV ads include close-ups of the bottle, including one (below) called "curves."
The company declined to reveal spending figures. But when you take into account the number of countries in which it will run, the campaign represents the second-largest global effort in the brand's history. It falls just shy of last year's World Cup campaign that was shown in 175 countries, said Katie Bayne, senior VP-global sparkling brands.
Executives said late last year that the company would add $250 million to $350 million in global media investment in 2015. The new Coke campaign will seemingly consume a big chunk of that.
Strategically, the campaign gives Coke a platform to spotlight its 8-ounce bottle that is sold in glass and aluminum formats. The brand plans to give away some 30 million bottles worldwide via sampling efforts at festivals and other events, Ms. Bayne said. The smaller package size is a key plank of Coke's initiative to increase sales in an era when more consumers are watching their sugary soda intake.
Coke is "really using this 100th anniversary as a moment to galvanize our system," Ms. Bayne said in an interview.
The campaign also marks the beginning of a new strategy by Coke to collect input from multiple agencies and global business units on a big global campaign. In the past, a single agency typically led such efforts, Ms. Bayne said. "It's the idea that a good idea can be brought to life by multiple creative minds, versus one group doing all of the work," she said. For instance, some Coke business units are creating their own versions of the "Tale of Contour" spot using different introductions and endings that are reflective of their local markets, she said.
The campaign emphasizes Coke's place in history via an outdoor and digital campaign called "Kissed By" that includes images of pop-culture icons drinking Coke. One ad shows Elvis drinking a Coke during a 1952 recording session that spawned "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel." Another ad features Ms. Monroe enjoying a Coke during a 1953 publicity shoot for the film "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."