AOL Moviefone, Coke Plug Movie Premieres Online

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AOL Moviefone and Coca-Cola North America have joined forces to create the Diet Coke Red Carpet Premieres, in which the companies provide consumers with free passes for previews of films through and AOL properties.

The first premiere in the series occurred Nov. 9, when 9,500 consumers received passes to New Line Cinema's "Little Nicky" starring Adam Sandler. The next in the series will be an advance screening of Universal's "Josie and the Pussycats" in April.

The campaign was promoted throughout much of AOL's prime real estate, including the welcome page and the network's movie and entertainment categories.

"The Diet Coke Red Carpet Premieres was promoted pervasively throughout with high impact promotional graphics," said Tommy McGloin, general manager at AOL Moviefone, New York. "These were center-of-the-screen advertorials designed to get people's attention and to get them to act."

By clicking on these ads, consumers were brought to a promotions page where they could print the free pass while supplies lasted.

The promotion was proof that online marketing can affect offline activity, McGloin said. "There is a very real identifiable scientific impact of taking 9,500 people online and putting them in seats offline. That's very demonstrative. That's not hype."

A coinciding sweepstakes at -- where consumers can win Adam Sandler's costume from the movie, a DVD player and DVDs -- will run through Nov. 20.

AOL Moviefone, Coca-Cola and New Line Cinema credit the effort with building a buzz for the film's $18 million opening.

"It was good for Diet Coke because they love to be associated with the movies," McGloin said. "They want to be the beverage of choice at concessions. And it's ideal for us whenever we can get member benefits out of these [deals]."

Advance screenings of "Little Nicky" took place in Atlanta; Baltimore; Baton Rouge, LA; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Miami; New York; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Tampa, FL; and Washington.

This is one of many efforts that will likely result from the Coca-Cola/AOL alliance announced in May. The two-year agreement was reported to be valued at $64 million. Roughly one-third of this total was expected to go toward marketing efforts.

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