Coke to begin Blak launch in France

By Published on .

[Paris] Coca-Cola Co. is starting the international rollout of coffee-flavored cola Coca-Cola Blak in France, where there are already clues to how the drink, expected to launch later this year in the U.S., will be positioned and marketed. The lightly carbonated, mid-calorie beverage to be targeted at over-30 consumers arrived in restaurants in January and hits stores this month in a slim 330 ml aluminum bottle priced at about $1.20. Coke is trying to create buzz around Coca-Cola Blak, which was written about in French Elle magazine and is sold at the Water Bar at trendsetting Paris shop Colette.

At Coke, the global group brand manager for Coca-Cola Blak is Atlanta-based Aleve Gokce. The company has said the brand will be launched in several countries this year, including the U.S., and that advertising will be developed locally and regionally.

Ads in France don't break until early April, from Marcel, a young Paris agency that Publicis Groupe is backing to compete against hot international creative shops like Mother, Strawberry Frog and 180 Amsterdam. In fact, Marcel pitched against Mother, New York and Sra Rushmore, a Barcelona-based hotshop backed by WPP Group, to win Coca Cola Blak.

Marcel, majority-owned by Publicis, was started last May by Frederic Raillard, 34, and Farid Mokart, 38, better known as creative duo Fred & Farid. The two Frenchmen, who were previously at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, are co-presidents of Marcel, named for Publicis founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, and report directly to Publicis Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy. Marcel got on Coke's radar pitching for the global Coca-Cola Classic account won by Wieden & Kennedy; Marcel picked up Coke business in France and global assignments for Coke Classic for worldwide poster and viral advertising. The agency has also won General Motors Corp.'s Corsa Silver line for Europe, in France, and an assignment from Nestle, Mr. Raillard said.

In fact, the agency, now with 45 staff, is so busy pitching that its Web site is still under construction.

Most Popular
In this article: