Coca-Cola rejoices 125 years

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The Offer: The Coca-Cola Co. celebrated its 125th anniversary on May 8 with a global integrated campaign. In the UK, a user-generated contest asked consumers to design retro posters for a chance to have their design featured on the soft drink's Piccadilly Circus sign. 

The Data: To design a poster, fans had to sign in to Coke Zone, the company's online loyalty program. 

The Channel: The campaign, led by McCann Erickson Madrid, kicked off April 19 with a global TV ad highlighting the brand's heritage. Designs appeared on billboards across the UK and as interactive displays at high-traffic retail areas. In May, it handed out samples of the product across Europe. 

The Creative: A song from the brand's early 1970s "Hilltop" commercial, "I'd like to teach the world to sing," overlays the TV spot, eventually revealing the soft drink's goal of today: to make people happy, the same as when it was first served in Atlanta in 1886.


Herschell Gordon Lewis heads LewisEnterprises in Pompano Beach, Fla. He writes copy for, consults with, and conducts workshops for clients worldwide. He is the author of 32 books including the best-selling On the Art of Writing Copy. Lewis has been elected to the Direct Marketing Association's Hall of Fame.

The Verdict: To some, Coca-Cola is yesterday's soft drink, and the company doesn't need a throwback promotion to distribute free samples and special offers. Did management consider "tomorrow" as a dynamic surrogate for "yesterday?" 

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