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ATLANTA -- Coca-Cola’s new global ad campaign aims to appeal to consumers' longing for comfort and optimism at a time when soft-drink sales are going flat, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The campaign -- expected to feature the slogan "Open Happiness" -- is the first for the Coca-Cola brand in three years, the newspaper reported. The latest slogan replaces "The Coke Side of Life."
Print ads in the campaign are expected to debut next week, and new TV commercials are expected to air in coming weeks, including during the Super Bowl, according to sources, though the commercials are still being finalized. One spot, called "Heist," scheduled to run during the big game, will feature cute critters in a park absconding with people's Cokes, the newspaper reported.
The campaign grew out of a six-month initiative dubbed "Project Next," which was spearheaded by Coke's new chief executive, Muhtar Kent, and Joe Tripodi, the company's global chief marketing officer.
Though Coca-Cola's cola volume is growing in many parts of the world, it slipped 3.5 percent in U.S. supermarkets, convenience stores, drug chains and similar venues during the first nine months of 2008, according to Beverage Digest. That continued a years-long decline amid competition from newer drinks, including bottled teas and enhanced waters. Coke Classic's U.S. volume fell about 16 percent from 1998 through 2007.
A planned Super Bowl ad known as "Avatar," which will feature a remix of an Elvis song, is expected to illustrate how people don't really talk anymore, thanks to gadgets like BlackBerrys, the newspaper reported. In the spot, a boy enters a diner and sits next to an ogre. The two reach for a Coke and, suddenly, the ogre turns into a pretty girl.
The ads are being created by Wieden + Kennedy, of Portland, Ore.
At the same time PepsiCo is rolling out a new ad push for its flagship Pepsi brand, after a massive brand overhaul involving a new ad firm, new packaging and a slew of new ads.
It isn't known how much Coke will spend on the new push. It spent about $406 million on U.S. ads in 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence.